Tradition is deep-rooted in the game of baseball, from the National Anthem to the bottom of the ninth inning. The act of packing the family up and heading to the ballpark on a warm summer afternoon to catch a game is a tradition in itself. In addition, each major league baseball stadium across the country features their own traditions. Here are seven of the best major league baseball stadium traditions, made possible by the fans:
Yankees Bleacher Creatures Roll Call (Yankee Stadium)
Section 39 of the right-field bleachers in Yankee stadium is where this tradition, believed by many to be the best in baseball, can be heard. There, the Bleacher Creatures, fans known for their undying allegiance to the Yankees, chant each of their team’s players one-by-one until they are acknowledged by that player. Acceptable forms of acknowledgment required for them to move on the the next player include a wave or the tip of a cap. Pitchers and catchers are excluded from the roll call.
Chicago Cubs “Throw It Back” (Wrigley Field)
Can you imagine the glory and excitement of catching a home run ball at Wrigley field? Now imagine throwing it back. That’s just what Cubs fans do with home run balls that bounce off the bat of the opposing team. This act is based on the premise that, “when you are given garbage, you have to give it back.” When you catch a home run ball of the opposing team at Wrigley Field, you are expected to toss it back onto the field; or else be responsible for bringing bad juju to your team.
Angels Rally Monkey (Angel Stadium)
To Los Angeles Angels fans, the rally monkey is much more than just a stuffed toy. It’s a tribute to the adorable jumping monkey that appears on the jumbotron throughout home games at Angel Stadium to the tune of “Jump Around” by House of Pain. Fans around the park can be seen with their own stuffed rally monkeys. We really aren’t sure how this tradition came to fruition, but we know it gets Angels fans pumped up.
Brewers Sausage Race (Miller Park)
Winner, winner sausage dinner! Of all the races done at MLB stadiums, the Brewers sausage race is known to be one of the first. After the bottom of the sixth inning, five giant sausage mascots go link-to-link in a race around the field. Fans even bet on who will be the winner amongst Brett Wurst the bratwurst, Stosh Jonjak the Polish sausage, Guido the Italian sausage, Frankie Furter the hot dog, and Cinco the chorizo.
New York Mets Home Run Apple ( Citi Field)
The Mets embrace the nickname of their hometown New York, “The Big Apple,” each time they hit one out of the park. With every home run scored by the Mets, a giant red apple rises up just behind center field. This apple has been ‘bruised’ on a few occasions with tenacious home runs at Citi Field.
Houston Astros Home Run Train (Minute Maid Park)
The Houston Astro’s play their home games at what used to be Houston’s Union Station. Paying homage to the stadiums origins, a train takes a lap around the stadium each time an Astro’s player hits a homerun. The Home Run Train is filled with oranges and chugs along a track on top of the exterior wall behind left field at Minute Maid Park. The train also makes its way around the track when the Astros win a ballgame.
“OK Blue Jays” (Rogers Centre)
Baseball fans are undoubtedly well-versed in the song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame, serenaded during the seventh inning stretch. But they may be thrown off by the seventh inning stretch at a Blue Jays game. The Toronto Blue Jays play their own song, “OK Blue Jays” to switch things up. Including lyrics such as, “It’s a beautiful evening, fans,” and, “Bring on the Angels, the Rangers, and the Yankees too,” the song is a staple of home games at Rogers Centre.
Nationals President Race (Nationals Park)
While we mentioned the original stadium race featuring sausages at Miller Park, this race is too good not to include. There is something so undeniably entertaining about watching our great nation’s former leaders race around the field with giant, blown up heads. Located in the nation’s capital, Nationals Park hosts the epic Presidents Race. Here, big-headed versions of George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Calvin Coolidge race around the field in front of amused onlookers.
Rockies Humidor (Coors Field)
While some may call this a necessity more than a tradition, we think it’s noteworthy nonetheless. In the past, Coors Field was a hitter’s friend and a pitcher’s foe. The Mile High City’s dry air caused the ball to travel roughly 10% faster off of the bat. In 2002, they installed the humidor, a device that prevented the baseballs from drying out, to level the playing field. This season, the Rockies have also installed higher homerun fences with the same goal in mind: keeping the game fair and square. (or diamond)