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A Baseball Fan


What is a baseball fan? The word "fan" is an abbreviation of the word "fanatic," meaning "insane." In the case of baseball fans, the term is very appropriate. They behave insanely, they are insane about baseball trivia, and they are insanely loyal.

Certainly the behavior of baseball fans is insane. They wear their official team t-shirts and warm-up jackets to the mall, the store, the classroom, and, if they can get away with it, to work. Then, whenever the team offers a giveaway item, the fans rush out to get the roll-up hat, tote bag, or beer cooler offered that day .

In addition, they cover their walls with items of every kind. A baseball fan will have his bedroom walls plastered with posters and ornamented with caps and buttons. When they go to a game, the true baseball fans put on their team colors, grab their pennants, pin on their team buttons, and even bring along hand-lettered bed sheet signs proudly proclaiming "Go Dodgers" or "Braves are Number 1." At the game, these fans form a rooting section, constantly encouraging their favorite players and obediently echoing every cheer flashed on the electronic scoreboard.

Baseball fans, in addition to behaving insanely, are also fascinated by baseball trivia. Every day they turn to the sports page and study last night's statistics. They simply must see who extended his hitting streak and how many strikeouts the winning pitcher recorded. Their bookshelves are crammed full of record books, team yearbooks, and baseball almanacs. They delight in remembering such significant facts as who was the last left-handed third baseman to hit an inning-ending double play in the fifth game of the playoffs.

Finally, baseball fans are insanely loyal to the team of their choice. Should the home team's players lose eight in a row, their fans may begin to call them "bums." They may even suggest that the slumping cleanup hitter be sent to the minors or the manager fired. However, such reactions only hide their broken hearts. They still check the sports pages and tune in to get the score. Furthermore, this intense loyalty can make fans dangerous, for anyone who dares to say to a loyal fan that some other team has sharper fielding or a better attitude could risk permanent, physical harm. Incidents of violence at the baseball field have increased in recent years and have become a matter of growing concern.

During much of the year, baseball fans are like any other human beings. They pay their taxes, take out the garbage, and complain about the high cost of living or the latest home repair. However, when the season begins, the radios and televisions go on, the record books come off the shelves, and the devotion returns. For the true baseball fan, another season of insanity has begun.

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