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Improving America’s Pastime: Baseball | Suggestion #4 – Fan-Friendly Training

By Martie Hevia | Blue Beach Song™

Vintage Sports Fans in a Baseball Stadium Poster

“Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.”

~Rogers Hornsby

Suggestion #4: Fan-Friendly Training

My fourth suggestion is simple, but important.

There are some players in Major League Baseball who don’t seem to have the basic skills necessary to deal with baseball fans. You have probably seen them snubbing the four-year-old, or forty-year-old, with outstretched hand clutching a baseball hoping to get an autograph, a memento, a smile from someone who embodies the game they love.

Vintage Baseball Stadium Poster
“I don’t love baseball… I do love, however,
the baseball that is in the heads of baseball fans.
I love the dreams of glory of 10-year-olds,
the reminiscences of 70-year-olds.
The greatest baseball arena is in our heads…”

~Stan Isaacs, ‘Diamond-Studded Memories‘,
Newsday, 9 April 1990

Perhaps these ballplayers have been thrust into the celebrity limelight and are overwhelmed with all the love and adulation. Perhaps they are shy or lacking in people skills. Perhaps they are egocentric and cannot be bothered with the little people. Perhaps they don’t think it is in their job description. Or perhaps they do not understand that baseball fans are their customers; the consumers of the product they get paid so much to produce.

Who better than the MLB to provide some assistance?

A little fan-friendly customer service training for the players would be a good thing. You know, nothing major, just a smile, a ball signing, a wave now and then, or if it’s just not in them, perhaps they can learn to fake being nice to the kids and the fans who make their careers possible.

It is not a lot to ask and it is not a lot of effort. It is good PR and happy customers are repeat customers, which will translate to more ticket and merchandise sales.

Then again, perhaps they can be nice for no other reason than the opportunity to make the day of some kid who idolizes them.

That used to be reason enough.

NOTE: This was the fourth of a 30-part series of posts offering suggestions (sometimes tongue-in-cheek) on how I would improve the game of baseball. This series is based on my original (very long) post: Baseball: How I (A Girl) Would Improve America’s Pastime, it provides the context for this series of posts. I hope you enjoy the series and offer your own suggestions! All the best, -Martie

Martie Hevia © 2011 | All Rights Reserved

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