As the summer heat peaks and stadiums are filled with more typical attendance, some baseball fans at home may decide to stay there. Utilizing your connections to watch games can serve as a fine alternative to braving the elements and crowds outdoors.  For those with some entertainment dollars to budget, major league baseball games are on the MLB Network, ESPN, FOX (Saturday games) and the Bally (formerly Fox) Regional Sports Networks. 

What will you need for your 2021 baseball adventures?

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YouTube has been carrying one live game per week.  For those who like using their phone as a television, online streaming of all games is available via MLB.TV which costs $130 per season, about equal to what two people could spend at a game for parking, reasonably good seats, and a modest amount of ballpark food.  With a Sling TV subscription including ESPN and optional MLB Network add-on for additional ten dollars per month, I usually have access to more baseball than I can possibly watch.  This link provides a list of other options.

Minor League Games

For those baseball fans who follow the minor league games, MiLB.TV is a source allowing you to watch them all.  Minor league games and even many partner league games can be found on local radio stations. Increasingly these games (both audio and video) are available through online streaming.  Note the television coverage of Northwoods League games available free online, produced by the home team’s broadcast crew. Recent games are also viewable on demand.  I’ve been pleased with the quality of these broadcasts during 2021.   

With so much baseball available, it’s great to settle in and approach the game with the same joy as if attending in person.  How can we really do that when a screen does not surround you with the experience of being present at a game?  How can we manage that in-person excitement for those with various distractions of a busy house?

Baseball Fans: Be Present When Physically Distant

I do this by being intentional about time, food, and attire: 

Time:  set aside that time to really enjoy the broadcast.  When we truly carve out time for the game it becomes more of an event.  You might invite other family members or friends to join in.  If you prefer your local radio announcers, turn the TV sound down and the radio sound up!  For those of who lack the time to watch an entire game, let that motivate you to really attend closely in the limited time that is available. 

Food: prepare something to eat ahead of time. That will limit the amount of action that you miss going to the kitchen or refrigerator.  Connect the hours of work or chores leading up to the game with some type of reward.  After a day’s work in the yard or garden, prepare a game time meal featuring freshly harvested vegetables.  I recommend planning a favorite snack for a particular inning. Have an especially festive food or drink ready at the end of the game if your team wins! 

Attire:  Put on your favorite team jersey, hang a pennant over the television or wear your customary baseball cap.  Putting on the team colors for even a few minutes can get you into a more festive mood.  Make every baseball game (whether you’re at home or “away” at the stadium) a celebration of what we work for, the things and people we love, and the freedom to give thanks to God for our many blessings.