It not Just Baseball, it’s “Baseball Dating”

And it's 1,2,3 strikes you're OUT!Credit: Baseball logo at right based on image created by

One night a long time ago, while surf casting for bluefish and striped bass off Revere Beach outside of Boston Massachusetts late at night, I asked my Dad how he met my Mom. After he finished his story I mentioned how I hoped I would find someone special…

…and that’s when he told me that dating was like the game of baseball, and proceeded to describe “Baseball Dating”.

Before starting it helps if you already know the basics of how the game of baseball is played: If not, click here for a short summary of the game’s rules.

Now that you’re familiar with the game of baseball let’s learn “Baseball Dating”:

The Setup:

  • There are two teams: Your team, consisting of “You”, and the other team, consisting of “Everyone You’d like to Date”.
  • There’s only two players on the field: The Pitcher – you – and the Batter – the current person you’d like to date.

  • The game lasts 1/2 inning, the other team is up, and they have unlimited batters.

  • Sides don’t switch after three outs because you’re the only member of your team and you’re not batting because you’re the pitcher.

  • Each batter has 4 Balls, 3 Strikes, and one Out, just like in real baseball.

Object of the Game:

The pitcher (you) to deliver a pitch (a request for a date) that the batter (person you’d like to date) will actually hit back (say yes) for you to catch (take them out on a date).

Of course any game worth playing needs some basic rules, so let’s start with…

Pitching Rules:

Your “pitch” (request for a date) must…

  • make it clear it’s a date (and not just a casual get together): You’re goal is trying to get to know the person and establish a romantic relationship
  • involve something the person’s interested in

  • be non-threatening (say, a first date of lunch at a public restaurant using separate cars)

  • make it clear that it’s your treat (you’re taking the person out, now’s no time to be cheap…unless they’ve got very expensive tastes, then maybe reconsider)

  • be delivered with enough time for the person to consider it (the “3-Day Rule”* works best)

Now you’re not just the pitcher but also the Umpire, so you need to know when to call Balls, Strikes, and Outs. Your call depends on how the person responds to (or “swings”) at your “pitch”. Basically, the more unbelievable, uncaring, impolite, or disrespectful their response is the harsher your call.

Calling a pitch can be very subjective, depending on how sensitive, patient, or forgiving you are, but here are some general Rules:

Umpire Rules:

First of all, you should have made a good pitch: If you made a bad pitch then you can’t make any call at all against the batter, go back and review “Pitching Rules”.

  • Ball – Called for a minor transgression: Sometimes your schedules don’t line up, the person has other plans that day, or they have a legitimate excuse. However, they continue to show some interest in you: If they don’t consider calling your pitch a Strike.
  • Strike – Called for a moderate transgression: They simply say no, something “suddenly” came up, they gave the same or an unbelievable excuse, or stopped communicating as the date approached.

  • Out – Called for a major transgression, and this could happen on any pitch: The person makes it clear they’re not interested, fails to show up for the date as promised without providing any reason or giving a bad reason, takes advantage of or embarrasses you during the actual date, or badmouths your or their friends.

Playing the Game:

  • As in baseball, if the person gets three strikes or an out they’re out of the game. You might still be able to be friends but dating is out.
  • If the person manages to get 4 balls they get to walk to First Base, and you pitch to the next batter (the next person you want to date).

  • If someone is on base while you’re pitching don’t pay attention to them unless they do something to get your attention: In this case, ask you out on a date (“steal a base“).

    • If they don’t ask you out, keep pitching to the current batter.

    • If they ask you out you can decide to ignore them and continue pitching or give them one more chance at a date: If they don’t come through on the date they’re out (“caught stealing“) but if they do then go out on your date and see where it goes.
  • If you’ve managed to put a batter on each base (“load the bases“) and you walk one more batter the person at Third Base advances to Home Plate but they don’t score a run. Instead, they go to the dugout and head for the showers, as they’re out of the game.

  • Keep playing the game until you go out on a date and develop a (hopefully meaningful & lasting) relationship.

One problem with Baseball Dating is making sure you’ve scouted out enough people you’d like to date to make playing the game worthwhile: After all, you don’t want to wind up playing one-hand solitaire. And, of course, money always talks, just ask any Major League Baseball player.

Once again, as in real baseball it could still take a long time to win the game by finding a person who’ll date you and develop into a relationship: A game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox could easily take over four hours, and those teams play 19 Regular Season games per year. Baseball Dating could take much longer, and be less entertaining. However, Baseball Dating can provide a way to make sure your heart doesn’t stray too far away from your brains…for example, when NY Yankees fans believed the Bronx Bombers had the 2004 ALCS won after Game 3 ;-)

* The 3-Day Rule: You should contact the person at least 3 full days before the day you want to date, to give them time to consider your invitation, adjust their schedule, and make any plans. So, if you want to have a date on Friday you should contact them by Tuesday at the latest.

Thanks for Reading! (and, “Play ball!”)

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