Dads love baseball on Father's Day

Jun 3, 2011 at 1:54 p.m. ET

Guys love baseball! What could be better than the gift of baseball for Father’s Day? Here are five ways to incorporate baseball into your Father’s Day celebration.

Family playing baseball

The sport of American baseball began in 1845. It didn't take long for people to fall in love with the sport, especially men. This Father's Day, instead of the predictable tie or mug, give your dad a great treat -- baseball!

1Play baseball

Get the family together for a game of baseball. If you don't have enough players, have a good old-fashioned game of catch, or play "run the bases" or something similar.

Rain in the forecast? That doesn't have to end the fun -- head to an indoor batting cage. Here, Dad can swing away without have to worry about the weather!

Difficulty Level: Round up those balls, bats and gloves and you're ready to play. Or gather up your quarters and head to the local batting cages.

Cost Rating: No cost if you're playing outside. Batting cages usually run about about 10-20 cents per ball. That's 50 balls for $5-$10.

2Watch someone else play baseball

Not interested in playing a game? Take Dad to one. A professional baseball game is one of the best ways to incorporate baseball into Father's Day. There's nothing like hearing the crack of the bat on a warm, sunny day -- go team!

Difficulty Level: This one is not too hard but you should plan in advance -- lots of major league stadiums sell out early, especially on special occasions. Check minor league teams in your area, too. This gives Dad the same game-day feel without the sellout crowds.

Cost Rating: Professional baseball game tickets can be expensive. For a lesser cost, investigate standing-room-only tickets. These tickets aren't in the most desirable sections but are a lot cheaper. Or check into a minor league game -- great ballpark experience without the extra-high fees.

3Tour A baseball stadium

All baseball stadiums offer tours. Tour days and times vary, so you may not be able to do it on Father's Day but you can plan something close to the actual date. This is a fun, behind-the-scenes look at baseball.

Difficulty Level: Touring a stadium isn't hard to arrange, just check out the stadium website and schedule a time that works. Don't tell Dad and make it a cool surprise when you pull up to the stadium.

Cost Rating: Stadiums usually only charge a minimal fee (between $6 and $20 per person).

4Visit Cooperstown, NEW YORK

Take Dad to the birthplace of baseball, Cooperstown, New York. This is a great trip -- the Baseball Hall of Fame is a wonderful place to learn how baseball has evolved, and the surrounding area lives and breathes baseball as well. If Cooperstown is too far, you can research baseball exhibits in the your local area.

Difficulty Level: This one can be more difficult, especially the farther you live from New York state. You must plan in advance and plan well.

Cost Rating: Look out, it's expensive. Again, depending on your location, you could really stretch the budget with airfare, car, hotel, meals and tickets. Visiting a local exhibit, of course, reduces this expense dramatically.

5Declare it National Baseball Day!

Start the day with baseball pancakes in bed (the normal pancake is a circle, so just add the ball stitching in syrup or even chocolate). Next, have the whole family do a baseball craft. This sounds corny, but it's a fun family activity, and Dad may really get into it -- try this memo holder.

Finally, turn on the TV and watch a baseball game together, then serve lots of great baseball foods during the game. These foods are easy to make. Try hot dogs with the works, popcorn, peanuts, Cracker Jack (everyone loves those prizes) and maybe an ice-cold beer for Dad.

Difficulty Level: This is a simple one to try depending on how much or little you want to do.

Cost Rating: National Baseball Day is not expensive. Just a few adjustments in your weekly purchases and you've got it made.

Father's Day is a great opportunity to show Dad how much you appreciate him. Make it special by incorporating baseball. Do you have your own great baseball ideas for Dad? Share them below in the comments section!

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