The Art of Eavesdropping

I have mentioned my superior aptitude for eavesdropping in previous posts. This really only takes four things: 1.) The ability to resist the urge to correct people who are misinformed; 2.) The ability to resist the urge to provide answers to people’s questions when no one else can; 3.) The ability to resist the urge to laugh at ridiculous comments; and 4.) A good sense of hearing.

Below I have provided a list of things I have overheard at typical baseball games. As you read them, practice your own ability to eavesdrop. Can you make it through them all without reacting?

Why is your baby wearing sharks to a baseball game?

How many innings are there? 6? 7?

[same person in the top of the 6th at the next game] If no one scores here, does the game end?

He goes to Ole Miss. I’m not sure what division that is, but I think it’s in Arizona.

If the trainer goes on the field, I think the player has to come off. That’s how it is in basketball.

Person 1: What if every softball player had to date the baseball player who wore the same jersey number? Person 2: Oh, no. I would change my number.

I haven’t ever seen this guy get a hit. [The player in question had already gotten two hits in that game.]

Coach: I should probably learn my players’ numbers by now. Umpire: You ought to learn their names too.

Woman explaining baseball to her husband: See how the batter just stepped out of that box? He’s trying to get the pitcher to waste a pitch. It’s stupid. They should just play.

His pitching style is crazy. He’s too tall.

My money smells like cherries.

I can’t wait to see Taylor Swift perform.

Home plate umpire: What’s the count?

These guys are some obnoxious. What are we, TWO?!

I thought we were going seven innings. It’s nine. That’s how long it’s been since I’ve paid attention.

Are they really praying?

I don’t know why boys have to swear. Mine does it too. Boys are dumb.

So, how do you think you would do?

For a coach’s wife, there are a number of reasons to eavesdrop.

Eavesdropping on conversations among parents can reveal the insights and opinions of players as they are only revealed when the team and coaches are not around. I can pass this information on to my husband, and he and the coaching staff can make adjustments as they see fit.

Conversations among friends and girlfriends let me in on some of the drama our baseball players might be wrapped up in. This leads to a lot of frivolous information, but this is also how I once learned a baseball player was expecting a child with a young lady who hoped they would become a family when he had no intentions of pursuing a relationship with her. This information gave my husband the opportunity to counsel the young man on the responsibilities of fatherhood and the importance of this young man’s involvement in his new daughter’s life.

Eavesdropping on comments from the dugout while the coaches are on the field can be the most useful. I can pick up on comments from players who support the team and those who approach the game selfishly. I know which players take responsibility for their mistakes on the field and who is looking for any excuse under the sun. For my husband, these comments become teachable moments and opportunities to build character.

The way I see it, I eavesdrop to help the team improve. It can also be quite entertaining, though.

It makes you think. What’s the last conversation you had in the stands of a sporting event? Who was listening, and how did they use what they heard?


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