WHAT IS THE HAT??
The Hat Game is a gambling/fantasy/baseball game of chance that will change the way you look at every single pitch the next time you go to the ball game.
One uneventful Saturday night in July of 2001 a slew of drunks happened upon their friend Mike Merceika. He had recently attended a uneventful game in Cleveland yet he swore it was one of the best games he'd ever gone to. Clearly something was amiss . Everyone assumed either drugs or a drunk woman were involved in the Seeka puffery. However once he was pushed for details on what made this game so eventful he introduced me to a game, a concept, a way of life that was 10X as intoxicating as a drunk woman and 10 X as addictive as your crack cocaine. He brought the Hat to the table, and we haven't looked back.
The game has been passed on from section to section. Along the way nuances have been lost and or added in the translations. This blogs lone purpose is to teach the the hat game the right way....and to show you some examples of some fine hat playing.
Why Play the Hat?
This game makes every pitch that much more entertaining. Of course combined with all the beer you're consuming you'll begin to frighten your section when you start to freak out because the pitcher struck out looking...again. Trust me, it will happen. Pitchers love taking a called third strike. The game is a great time whether you like baseball or not. I've seen the average fan easily lose $60 yet still praise the virtues of the game.
Is Smack talk encouraged?
Yes, but that goes with out saying. It's basic human nature.
Why do you care so much about the hat?
I've had some good times and some bad times with the hat. Peaks and Valleys my friends, Peaks and Valleys. Words to live by. My dream is to look into the vast crowd at a ballpark and I see thousands of people cursing and stuffing handfuls of dollars into baseball caps. Make the dream a reality and pass this along to all your friends.
- Order for passing the hat is determined by your seating in the stadium (but feel free to play at home or in a bar).
- To start, EVERYONE antes in a single dollar.
- The first person gets the #1 visitor hitter, second guy gets the #2 visitor hitter, etc,etc..and the hat keeps rotating regardless of the home/visitor scenario (some say this comprises the integrity of fandom...but I disagree)
Payouts and "Pay-ins" explained:
- Hit: You win all the money in the hat...and everyone (including the winner) has to re ante. Pass the hat. Payout: The hat
- Homerun: You win the money in the hat...and EVERYONE has to match the money in the hat and give it to you...and everyone (including the winner) has to re ante. Pass the hat. Payout: The HAT + MATCH
- WALK: It's a push...pass the hat! Payout: PUSH
- ERROR: If the fielder were doing his job this would have been an out. Pay, than pass the hat. Pay-in: A Buck
- SACRIFICE: Clearly he is moving the runner along..but its still going to cost you. Pay than pass the hat. Pay-in: A Buck
- OUT: Ground-Out, Fly-Out, etc. Put a dollar in and pass the hat. Pay-in: A Buck
- DOUBLE PLAY: Lucky enough to ground into a double play?...than you are lucky enough to pay double..than pass the hat. Pay in: Two Bucks
- STRIKEOUT: STRIKING OUT IS BAD...put a dollar in and pass the hat. Pay-in: A Buck
- REVERSE K: ...BUT NOT AS BAD AS THIS. MATCH THE HAT!...then pass it. Pay-In: HAT MATCH!
Check out some box scores of some past hats. They are insanely detailed.