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A View From Deep Left

Age Discrimination at the Ballpark

I guess I'm NOT supposed to bring a glove to the ball park? I guess I'm NOT supposed to shag baseballs during BP, chase after foul balls, or wear a Phiten necklace? I guess I'm supposed to ACT my age (51 yrs. old) at the game and just sit there, watch the game and clap? Well, I say... PISS ON THAT!

How is it that Dusty Baker, Ron Washington, or Joe Maddon get to wear Phiten necklaces, and look all hip & cool at their age? Why are coaches, bullpen catchers, or Umpires the only ones allowed to wear sports gear and look young at the game? Why is it acceptable to look like a "NUT" at a NFL game (a-la- Oakland Raider fans, the Dog Pound, or the HOGS), or for the Rolling Stones to rock out into their 70's, but at a baseball game you're supposed to wear a polo shirt and Dockers (I wear that to Church)? If the players are wearing sports gear to play in, shouldn't I be wearing it to snag balls in? Wearing sports gear is very comfortable, and bringing a baseball glove is also a great SAFETY device at a game!

Sometimes I get crazy looks from fans at the ball park, because I bring my glove or wear my Phiten necklaces! I think to myself: I gave 20 years of service to this country, and 6 years to my community, I should have the right to bring a glove to the park! But, a lot of people still have "heartburn" with it... they think I should buy my baseball at the team store, and act my age. I see fans giving me dirty looks all the time. The players however don't seem to mind how I dress. As a matter of fact, they dig it, and I have over 100 player toss-up baseballs to prove it!

Last time I checked, "50" is the "NEW 30" right? That's what SOCIETY told me! Last time I checked, it's not a CRIME to bring a BASEBALL GLOVE to the ball game (and I'm a Retired Cop). I guess as an American I should have the freedom to do what I want, as long as I'm not hurting anybody; right? Fellow ball hawks, don't sweat these clowns! Have the courage of your convictions to bring your glove to the park, and enjoy your sport. All of you younger ball hawks will eventually get OLDER, and there will be mounting pressure on you too to behave in an adult manner at the ball game. This is especially true here in the Mid-West. We actually have local radio talk show hosts here in Cincinnati that say, you shouldn't bring a glove to the game if you are over 17 years old!!! And, that you're a man if you catch a foul ball with your bare hands! Really people? I thought the ball park and a baseball game was the place to get away from the daily grind of work and the dumb people who try and judge us all day long? (People..."chill-lax"! Baseball is FUN!)

My wife and I found that we have more fun at the park by attending BP, holding up signs for players to motivate them and making the JumboTron, or TV with the signs...it's a blast. If I'm paying BIG dollars to go to the game, I'm going to have as much fun at the park as I can, and look as cool as I want. I want to maximize my "ball park experience" as they say. I shouldn't be looked down upon by stuffy fans at the park! I should be able to come back with some great memories, and hopefully a souvenir (a BASEBALL). Some people just don't get it, or know how to have fun! Fellow ball hawks, I'd like to hear what you have to say on this subject.

Rocco Sinisi is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com.

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