My brother-in-law often tells a story of a trip he once took in which after years of dreaming about it he was finally able to visit a very famous MLB baseball stadium. Walking around the stadium and absorbing the history of that place made it a trip of a lifetime for him. Though he was able to tour the stadium, he was unable to actually take in a game because the team was traveling during that time frame. One upside of the team being gone was that the guided tour he participated in allowed visitors to enter the home team dugout and catch a glimpse of the view the players have during a game.
Through the process, the tour guide was constantly reminding them of what rules they must adhere to while on the tour. “Don’t enter that door. Don’t touch that picture. Don’t go pass the barrier.” I am sure herding a group of baseball fanatics around such an iconic stadium is similar to herding a group of children at Disney World.
As they tour reached the dugout, the number of tour requirements and the policing of those requirements began to increase. With that many die-hard baseball fans in the group, all it would take is one lone wolf to break ranks and instigate a riot. I can just see the avalanche of adult men and women cascading out onto the field, running around on the grass and rolling in the dirt, completely destroying what the grounds crew had worked so hard to perfect.
To prevent such a scene, the actual touching of the field was completely forbidden. In the dugout, the tour guide repeatedly stressed to the tourists “Please do not touch the grass.” Over and over he had to repeat himself as hands slowly leaned in for just a brush of the beautiful green turf.
Of course, even with all the requirements being clearly laid out and constantly reinforced, what do you think my brother-in-law did just as soon as the tour guide became distracted? In his words he recalls “I reached out, grabbed a hunk of grass and shoved it in my pocket.” Continue reading