If you’re a baseball fan, chances are you will go to baseball games. Not all of these baseball games may involve the team you support. This can be a difficult experience, especially if you know you are not well versed in the names, and quality of the make-up of the two teams that will take the field. Maybe you’re going because it’s a date and s/he really likes that team, or maybe your family/friends just wanted to take in a game, whatever the reason, you have bought your ticket and you’re ready to go. The question on game day becomes what do you wear? Let’s say you are a Giants fan and you are going to a Cleveland Indians vs. Oakland Athletics game in Oakland. Are you going to sport something Giants-y?
The author of the article did this. He wore a Giants shirt to a game neither team was playing. Was I heckled? Yes. Did my Dodger fan wife wear any Dodger gear? She did not. Was she heckled? No, she was not. The moral of the story is you are less likely to get heckled when you wear the gear of the home team or stay as neutral as possible.
This year I have had the chance to go to two games that the Giants were not playing in, an Astros-Angels game and a Padres-Dodgers game. I wore neutral clothing to both games and was left alone by others around me, which would not be the case even if I wore Giants stuff to a SoCal team-Giants game. When I left the Padres-Dodgers game, my friend and I were accused of being Padres fans because sometimes people decide to engage in the false dichotomy of if you’re not wearing home team colors, then you are against the home team, but alas no, I was lucky enough to grow up in a household that supported the Giants. To be honest, it kinda felt good to wear neutral clothing to a baseball game. Not sure if this is a healthy feeling.
While you are of course allowed to wear whatever you want to any place (as long as you keep it clean and appropriate, please), if you are one to care how you are perceived by others, it would be in your best interest to wear your team-supporting gear to games only if they are involved. Being proud of your team is fine, but my perception on when to be proud of that fandom has changed. If you really want to be different from the crowd you’ll be in, you could probably get away with wearing the cap of a minor league affiliates since the common fan won’t know that a squirrel is for the Giants double-A team in Richmond or a baseball bandit is the single-A squad for the Astros, for example.
What do you guys do? I’m done wearing the black and orange Giants stuff to games they’re not involved in, but shoot, if wearing your Giants stuff is your jam, then I’m sure you definitely love to represent!