It’s baseball season again, which might have many JDaters wondering if a game could be a good first date idea.

In my many decades as an avid baseball fan, I have been extremely cautious in using a three-hour, nine-inning occasional bore-fest as the backdrop for a date. You must be prepared with a lot of conversation and some ability to entertain your match during slow parts of the proceedings – and there may be lots of them.

Advice for taking a date to a baseball game is not limited to the traditional, perhaps sexist view, that only men invite women to the ballpark. Major League Baseball research shows that for some teams, such as the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, nearly half of their fan base is comprised of women.

In my case, other than my sister, I have taken four women to major league baseball games. My record is about 50-50, so my tips for a successful baseball date are based on a lot of trial and error. Here’s how to hit a home run with a date to a baseball game.

1. Get Tickets In Advance

Don’t wait until the day of the game and casually walk up to the ticket window with your date. Even if the game is not sold out, selecting seats while the line behind you “politely” asks you to hurry up can be difficult.

My advice is to use the online interactive seat map you will find on a team’s website and choose somewhere between the best seats (where you might rub elbows with the rich and famous) and those way out in the bleachers in the blazing sun. You want your date to enjoy the game by being able to see what’s going on. Don’t forget about parking, too; you may need to have cash on hand to pay for entrance to a nearby lot.

2. Find Out If Your Date Drinks Before Ordering

Before you flag down a beer vendor or head out to the concession stand, it’s best to know if your partner likes beer, cider or soda. In most cases, you should already know you date’s drinking habits, but there are some fans who don’t normally drink who will enjoy a cold one at the ballpark.

Be careful, if you are sitting out in the sun, not to drink too much as the heat will intensify the effect of the alcohol. Expect high prices exceeding the cost of a six-pack at the grocery store, and again, come prepared with cash for convenient purchases in the stands.

3. Be Prepared To Leave Early

This is a tough one for diehard fans to swallow. It’s the bottom of the seventh and the pitcher has a no-hitter going; unfortunately, your date is obviously bored out of his or her mind.

It is time to decide what you care about more: the person seated next to you (your date, that is) or the outcome of the game. If it’s the former, offer to leave and watch the replay of the game on the news. If it’s the latter, it might be strike three for that particular man or woman.

4. Consider A Double Date

A double-date can take the pressure off of you to engage with date throughout the entirety of the game. In some cases, it will make the experience more fun and perhaps lead to good conversation between the couples during the game. But be prepared for the worst; I recall a time when my date and my friend’s date sat in stone silence for the entire game without a single verbal exchange – not fun.

5. Don’t Explain Unless Asked

This falls under the popular category of mansplaining, though a woman could fall prey to the temptation as well. Leave your knowledge of the 1973 St. Louis Cardinals starting lineup and detailed trivial knowledge of the game for your buddies at the sports bar or trivia night at the corner pub. It’s okay to answer questions, but don’t explain every little move made in the game in an effort to show off.

One final piece of advice: As George Costanza and Cosmo Kramer learned, if your date decides to wear the cap of the opposing team, it’s wise to keep quiet. Otherwise, you may wind up on the front page of the next day’s sports section.

You may also be interested in Best & Worst First Date Ideas: Tips For Avoiding A Date Disaster

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