Tuesday, October 23, 2012

That Really Annoying Fan: Not a New Phenomenon

When I read a description appearing in an 1887 edition of Fargo's Sunday Argus, I felt like it could have been written yesterday. The subject: the obnoxious fan. The Philadelphia Press originally published the story, which also covers a distinctive sound known as the "baseball yell". The picture painted by the writer's explanation of the baseball yell isn't particularly clear or applicable to today's game, but the portrait of the unreasonable fan strikes a chord:

"The genuine base-ball yeller yells because he can't help it. But there is a cousin of his who makes other noises with a pertinacity that is evidently wilful (sic). There is a man with a shrill tenor voice who has a season ticket and who sits in one of the upper boxes overlooking the grounds. He is the self-constituted critic of the umpire. He knows more about base ball, in his own mind, than all the experts in the country boiled down and rolled into one. He is always, too, a violent partisan of the home club... He is there every season. His name may vary, but the type is never absent. The regular attendants, the constant devotees of the game, soon grow used to his rantings, and they pass without notice. Even the umpire is too sadly accustomed to the exhortations of the crank even to permit himself a smile."

I guess there is some consolation in knowing that this guy has been around for 125 years. Or maybe not.

Sunday Argus July 17, 1887 "Lovers of Base-Ball" citing the Philadelphia Press.

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