I’ve been to numerous games at Comerica Park to support the Detroit Tigers, but nothing prepared me for the immense enthusiasm at the WBC USA vs. Dominican Republic game.
If Detroit Tigers fans – or any MLB fans – had this much fun at a baseball game, every stadium would sell out for Every. Single. Game.
The fans supporting the Dominican Republic bring their own music – drums, cow bells, plastic plantains, and more. The rhythm and enthusiasm is extremely contagious.
They stand up for every player, cheer for every strike against the opposing team and ball for their team, and explode with noise at every out. When Jose Reyes was up to bat, Marlins Park became a huge choir of “Jose…Jose. Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose.”
The USA crowd is so much more reserved. If the USA wants to grow the MLB and pull in the young fans, it’s time to emulate the Dominican Republic fans. Shouts of “home run” in Spanish greeted Jose Bautista.
It doesn’t take much to get hype at a baseball game! And, it is so much more fun. The trick is to show up with your team’s flag, hat, and a tee. Then bring something that makes noise and play it with a dance rhythm. After that, watch the game and cheer on the team, not with a few claps and attaboys, but with full-on joy and love for the game.
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It doesn’t take much to get a movement started. Just a few fans need to decide that it’s time to turn up the volume. Instead of changing the game to appeal to the masses, the fans can make the game better just by getting engaged in every pitch and every play.
What I really have enjoyed about this experience is the fact that everyone is so nice. Everyone seems to happy to be here and the love is palpable. Everyone is here because they love baseball and they love the friendly spirit of competition. At Comerica Park, I would never cheer for Eric Hosmer or Adam Jones, but here – they’re all fair game. Of course, Ian Kinsler gets my loudest cheers. I just wish there was a special cheer for each USA player!
When the games at Comerica Park get started, let’s learn from the Dominican Republic fans and live it up at the games!!