Aunt Sue

Aunt Sue is Christi’s aunt.  She is famous in my circle of friends for being fun.  In fact, one of her names in “Fun Aunt Sue.”  So why would I be talking about her?  What does she have to do with baseball?  Well, a lot.  Let me explain.

When I met Aunt Sue I was in the Florida State League playing A ball.  As we sat around the dinner table, she started asking me questions about baseball.  It was the usual stuff at first.  As I was speaking, I noticed that she was really listening.  Not nodding her head.  She was learning.

What Aunt Sue taught me was that women are better fans than men.  Now calm down…..don’t start sending me email.  I’m not against the guys at all.  Dudes….I’m a dude….I’m with you guys….understand my point.

If you simply teach women about the game, they will absolutely love it.  That is what I try and do with this blog.  I have noticed that it is the women who support this blog.  This blog is about learning the game.  Women are learning and that makes me feel really good.

Am I crazy?

I was reading my comments and noticed that it is the women who comment.  They seem to have the most honest questions.

My goal is to teach with this blog.  Who do you think is learning here?  Am I wrong in my assumptions that women are better learners on this blog?  I want to know what you think.


36 Comments on “Women”

  1. Marty Cunningham says:

    All I know is that for the 30+ years I lived in Houston and went to ballgames, I usually went with girlfriends and we ALL kept score! some didn’t understand my “PU” for popup, but I knew what it meant. We just loved baseball.

    • To be honest Marty, I don’t know all of the acronyms. But you are right. I only saw women taking score and a handful of Dad’s with their sons and daughters. Great call.

  2. Kevin says:

    I played baseball for the better part of 15 years of my life. But I never really learned how to play baseball. Blame the crappy coaching, or my disinterest…whatever. Now that I coach, I’m learning more than ever, I’m a better player than I ever was then, and your blog contributes to that. Thanks.

  3. baseballbobblehead says:

    Interesting. I am sure you didn’t mean it to be but the idea that women just need simple instruction on how to enjoy sports is a little condescending. Perhaps what you meant to say is that everyone has the capacity to enjoy sports regardless of their gender?

    Are women better learners regarding sports? I am not sure. I do think, however, that women best learn the rules and nuances of games in an environment where no one is treating them like second class fans or making them feel stupid, or are tagged as “pink hats” or “they just like it to impress their boyfriend.” These type of blanket statements will continue to plague us until men release their stranglehold on sports fan-dome.

    Without sounding like an hysterical womens-libber, it is obvious to me that it is far more difficult for women to be taken seriously as sports aficionados, then it is for men to be casual fans of the game. And that is unfortunate, because I think that kind of attitude turns women away from what could be a really fun hobby/obsession and frankly, perpetuates the idea that women don’t “get” sports.

    But, your mileage may vary. 🙂

    • Baseballbobblehead I have been thinking about your comment for the last 3 hours. Writing is hard and conveying thoughts are difficult. When I write I bring you into my thoughts. The use of “simply” was supposed to convey effort, not elementary ideas. Fun Aunt Sue was learning as I discussed advanced baseball strategy. We were not talking about simple baseball, we were having a conversation about advanced baseball strategy.

      The second paragraph is not about baseball. It is about respect. Anyone who makes you feel second class about any subject should be avoided.

      Finally, the point of my post was the polar opposite of the last paragraph. I was saying that women are bigger supporters of this blog than men in my opinion. My hypothesis was that women on our blog are extremely loyal. My question was based on watching Fun Aunt Sue become a sponge to all things baseball once we spoke about a strategy.

      My point was not make you feel like you have a “simple” mind. It was actually a slap at men who believe they understand everything there is to know about sports.

      Keep the comments coming. I loved it!

  4. Larry says:

    My fiance still says things like ‘he scored a run in’ and ‘he got a hit, but they threw him out at first’ but she also picks up on when Jeter is too far out on his front side, can tell when Swisher is going in or coming out of a slump based on his pre- and post-game interviews and was probably the first person in the country to predict that AJ Burnett’s struggles last year would continue for the whole season. (We’re Yankee fans obviously).

    Women are simply more socially and psychologically aware than men in general. I think it is in their nature. They pay more attention and it gives them immediate insight into the game that it took me 20 years of playing to gain.

    Baseball was never a huge part of her life but learning strategy from me has her hooked. And learning about the psychological aspects has given me a new way to fall in love with the game. March-October are some of our best times. I just wish she was around when I was playing so could have straightened my ass out when I was trying to do too much.

    • Larry, I believe that women do see lots of things that we men don’t naturally pick up. When Christi says something about baseball, I really listen because I know she is able to understand things that I may not at first.


  5. Karen says:

    My perspective is different from most. I learned about baseball by watching games on television, reading books, going to games, etc. It wasn’t from someone teaching me; my father knows less about the game than I do and still asks what I would call stupid questions. I still keep score when I attend games at Minute Maid Park when I go to Houston; it’s a habit I developed when I was growing up (I used to keep score when I watched games on television).

    But I must admit, it is fun going in front of the classroom at the beginning of the semester when I’m teaching the sports history class–and all of a sudden people realize that their instructor is a woman. Then they try to trick me with trivia (fat chance), and I threaten them with “if you don’t know what the infield fly rule is, you will not pass this class.”

  6. Jennifer Everett says:

    Women really do like to learn and listen about baseball; we are fascinated by the ability of these hunky men and the game they play! And, we aren’t afraid to enjoy the many emotions of the sport! Love me some Aunt Sue may she represent us all!

  7. lisa gray says:

    hi morgan,

    i loved this column. i love that you treat us females as real fans, not just stupid pink hats or say we are really there to stare at hot guys (well, gots to admit it isn’t possible to not stare at brad ausmus, but i digress…). it is so unusual to read something written by a man who actually thinks that females are intelligent and can evaluate games and situations. ESPECIALLY an athlete.

    lots of men, i think, feel threatened if women are fans of the GAME, not just going to one and having a good time. you look around the stands at minute maid and look at who is keeping score – and it usually females. only person i have EVER seen with a scorebook in the VIP section is barbara bush, who actually WATCHES the game.

    i wanted to play baseball since the day i first walked into the astrodome at age 6. i didn’t want an autograph from kevin bass, i wanted him to play baseball with me. i wish us grrls were taught baseball instead of being shoved into softball.

    thing about baseball is that no matter who you are or how old you are or how long you have been playing/watching, youneverknow. there is always something new to learn, or use of a rule you never heard of…

    one last thing about us grrrls (yeah, i know there is never a last thing) is that i think we so seldom know anyone who can teach us most anything except how many hits to a field goal or something, that when a real baseball player comes along who WANTS to talk and teach and say more than the usual sound bites, it’s almost like we finally get to play. well, sort of, because there really is nothing like actually putting on that glove and catching that ball. or hitting it


    p.s. interesting that there are almost no female stat geeks/fantasy baseball nuts. but lots and lots of serious female baseball FANS. maybe because we prefer watching/understanding what is happening out on the field instead of making up teams of our own based on only 5 baseball numbers. or wondering how to make formulas predicting wins/salary dollar spent, or something.

    • Lisa this is really good. I am with you on all of it. My guess is that there are women who love the “stat” side. All I know is that the women on this blog seem to be loyal and it is noticeable. Keep writing in!


  8. Marie says:

    Agreed. And you have definitely reached your goal. Truth be told, I am not a huge baseball fan, always found the games arduous and boring for the most part….BUT, I am gaining a new appreciation for the game and your blog is a big reason why. No one ever explained the point behind many of the decisions being made, it all seemed so arbitrary. Your blog teached me the explanations and strategy behind the plays. Especially your last blog before the the playoffs and World Series, I watched the games with a whole different perspective…actuallly enjoyed it. The Giants winning helped a little bit too.

    • Marie I am convinced that women see what men don’t. Baseball is about tendencies and those “tells” can be seen if you know what they are. I am really happy that you are learning. I always follow your recommendations on Goodreads.

      See you!


  9. baseballbobblehead says:

    @lisa: i love fantasy baseball and usually have 2-5 teams each season AND do quite well, but i am terrible at math and definitely not a stathead so i’m not sure how i manage to not flounder every year.

  10. Steve says:

    Perhaps, Morgan, “women” have more to learn?

    Fire at will, ladies. I can accept the abuse.

    • Steve, I think that this may be the wrong group of women for that call. My guess is that women who read that just rolled their eyes and dismissed it immediately. If you want to get under their skin over here, mention that pitchers should try and throw the ball up in the zone with man on third and less than 2 outs. They will be furious because they know that leads to sacrifice flies. It is a good group over here and they know their stuff.


  11. Scott says:

    I agree. It is better if women know the game. It made my ability to enjoy the game better. We watch our son play, she keeps a book, knows the difference between an error and hit, probably better than I do. It’s the same with golf, once she learned, she stopped complaining about how long I was out playing.

  12. Scooter says:

    1. I am a dude. I tend to read, learn VERY MUCH … and not comment. (So, while I’m here, Thanks!!) So we’re certainly here and learning.

    2. Touching on what bobblehead and Lisa said above, it has always appeared to me that you treat female commenters exactly as you treat the guys. Perhaps you don’t realize how rare this is. Make someone feel welcome and respected, and he/she will come back.

    3. Many women I know seem more willing to ask questions about sports. We boys can sometimes feel we’re supposed to know this stuff, and that asking makes us look dumb.

    Just a few thoughts. Thanks for an excellent blog. I didn’t really know you as a player (wrong division), but I very much admire what you’re doing here and have enjoyed watching you find your voice.

    (I know you’re not asking for uniform numbers any more, but mine is 00.)

    • Scooter you are correct about anyone I am speaking with. If someone asks a question then I just answer it. The method I used when being interviewed was first come first served.

      Good number.


  13. Dan Watson says:

    Dead on!

    My wife hated baseball when we first married, but taking her to a few games and her getting to know it a bit got her hooked. Even my 7-year old daughter comes home from school in the middle of winter and asks if the Cardinals are on. Now we watch ~200+ games a year! It just takes patience and nurturing.

  14. […] wanted to link to Morgan Ensberg’s latest entry, on women. That is, women baseball fans – and he is the exact opposite of the Tiger Woods/Ben […]

  15. Carlos says:

    When I started in baseball and my wife was still my girlfriend, she did not look forward to watching baseball all summer. Fast forward 10 years and now she actually misses it in the offseason. She went from knowing about 1% of the game to being pretty into it. She can rattle off the infield fly rule now without a hitch. It definitely helped her with me being on the staff side of baseball so she got to hear coaches and managers talking about the game when we went to lunch or dinner. She will comment on the drive home after the game sometimes about what happened in the game and why. I love it.

    Funny side story…..one year we were eating dinner after the game and the manager was complaining about how the signs were so easy, but the players kept forgetting them. Eventually, he explained to my wife what they were (with the promise that she wouldn’t tell) and she picked it up very quickly with absolutely no experience in that department. She was pretty happy during the game the next day when she knew what was going to happen and was pretty mad when players did miss the signs because even SHE was picking them up from the stands.

    Love the blog.

    • Carlos it is fun for people to understand the game. When we learn that there are all sorts of things happening on the field that we didn’t see, we see the game in a whole other light. As for signs, they are easy and that makes them hard sometimes. Sounds weird, but it is true.


  16. Valerie says:

    This is a bit off topic, but the comments about pink caps, etc., made me think of it. I wish MLB would have the same attitude you do and quit thinking that all we (women, that is) want is a pink shirt! Do you know how hard it is to find decent looking fan gear that fits a women well and is the team colors!?

    • Well V, I have to think that the products supplied are based on sales numbers. My guess is that there were female options for hats that simply didn’t sell until they changed colors. In the end, they will sell whatever is demanded.


  17. Brandon Cline says:

    Man I wish I could find more like “Aunt Sue”. I know many who either are “meh” or actively despise baseball. The common reason is that it is “too boring”, “not enough action”. It’s better than “2 minutes of football then 3 minutes of commercials” I swear I watch more commercials in football than a regular TV program. Makes me sad, man. 😦

  18. SarahMac0723 says:

    I am a huge fan of the game of baseball!! I think I love the game more than my husband does & he is a huge baseball buff!! We looked forward to spring training & Opening Day!! We plan our evening around the Astros games, either on TV or go to Minute Maid!! We even plan our summer vacations where we go, if there is a baseball team we can go watch!! I was raised at our local ball park watching my brothers play & I played from tball to high school (softball) and now my kids are being raised the same way, wouldn’t have it any other way. The game gives you so much things to learn about life, the way to work with teammates, discipline, respect for the adults that volunteer, good sportsmanship and also keeps you in shape!!

  19. joe c. says:

    I think women are better students of what most people would deem ‘male subjects’. I teach firearms instruction and defensive tactics, and for the most part, women come in with an open mind and actually listen. Most of the men come in with the attitude that they already know what to do, so instead of actively listening and learning something, they spend the time that you are talking conjuring up a rebuttal of your instruction. I call these guys the ‘yeah, buts..’. Your observations don’t suprise me at all.

  20. […] wanted to link to Morgan Ensberg’s latest entry, on women. That is, women baseball fans – and he is the exact opposite of the Tiger Woods/Ben […]

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