How to survive Thanksgiving as a baseball fan: Volume 3 – Yahoo Sports

Thanksgiving is here again, which means holiday season is underway. And right behind that is a new year filled with new promise for baseball fans everywhere!

Oh, who are we kidding?

As much as we love Thanksgiving and all that it stands for, the day itself is not designed for baseball fans. All the good food and togetherness that’s celebrated does absolutely nothing to satisfy our cravings for actual baseball games. If nothing else, it leaves us feeling empty inside as we realize we’re entrenched in a full-scale baseball lull.

Thanksgiving is typically a day of survival for us. It’s about getting free from football’s powerful clutches, cycling through awkward hugs and ultimately getting through to the other side knowing that spring training is one day closer. With that in mind, it doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. Through creative thinking and the cooperation of our loved ones, we can even bring the feelings of baseball season alive.

How you ask? Just keep reading. We have suggestions you just might enjoy.

A look at the chalk-covered walls outside Wrigley Field before they were washed away. (AP)A look at the chalk-covered walls outside Wrigley Field before they were washed away. (AP)

We can thank Cubs fans for this idea. After falling behind three games to one in the World Series, fans spontaneously began writing messages in chalk on the brick wall along Sheffield Avenue. The “Friendly Chalkboard,” as it became known, grew in size and meaning as the Cubs rallied to win it all, and team officials hope it becomes a new tradition.

So why not start a new Thanksgiving tradition of your own? There’s only so much awkward football and political talk we can handle. Step outside, find a wall and write what you’re thankful for. But please, remember to use chalk. Otherwise, you won’t be invited back next year.

In case you haven’t heard, the Cleveland Indians hurler is doing some math tutoring on the side this offseason. Or at least that was the case a couple weeks ago when a young math student sought and received some guidance.

The true lesson, of course, is that it never hurts to ask. The worst Bauer can do is block you.


Being friends with the St. Louis Cardinals ace would serve two purposes here. One, you’d be able to talk baseball with a four-time top three finisher in Cy Young voting. Second, you’d enjoy a quality Thanksgiving feast.

The studio crew has the day off, but there’s always plenty of excellent content to enjoy.

At 12 p.m. ET,  MLB Network Countdown will look at the best plays of the postseason. Immediately following will be a special look at the best fan moments of the season.

From there it’s a movie marathon, with “The Naked Gun: Police Squad,” “Talent for the Game” and “Rookie of the Year” airing consecutively beginning at 2 p.m.

The Stew’s own Mike Oz made opening baseball cards cool again with his series featuring such baseball luminaries as Alex Rodriguez, Frank Thomas and Bobby Bonilla. Now play the home version by digging into your closet and breaking out the boxes filled with cards. Or, you know, pull some boxes that are already opened. That works too, because you’re pretty much guaranteed to find a conversation starter or better yet a coveted collector’s item for the simple price of killing precious time.

The Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders. (via Fond Du Lac Dock Spiders. (via

Games are perfect for Thanksgiving because they’re fun, they get the competitive juices flowing and they pass time quickly.  Any game will do, but the game of choice in my family is usually Scrabble. This year though, I might add a baseball twist to it: We can only use minor league baseball team names.

If you think about it, your selection of words isn’t really that limited. At least not anymore. From Dock Spiders to Baby Cakes, we’ve seen the options grow in creativity and in point-scoring potentially. Plus, you only need for reference, not a dictionary.

Catch up on Big League Stew
You can’t go wrong here, folks, especially if you have hours of traveling ahead of you.

The Stew has all the latest news, in-depth looks at every major award handed out last week, not to mention free agent and trade previews as the winter meetings approach. If you don’t want it to seem like you’re staring at your phone or laptop all day, just pop in some earbuds and catch up on the StewPod with Addison Russell as the special guest.

Trust me, your baseball I.Q. will sky rocket immediately.

Previously in this Series: Volume 1, Volume 2

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!


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