A fan is someone who follows a particular endeavor without necessarily taking part himself or herself. The name is short for "fanatic" and was devised in the 19th century. There are other slang terms for fans, including "crank", partisan, supporter, etc.
Baseball fans can follow the game either in person at the ballpark - in which case they are called "spectators" - or through the media - radio, television, newspaper reports, or increasingly the internet. Fans tend to be devoted to a particular team, although there are many who simply like baseball and like to watch it being played under whatever circumstance is most practical.
In addition to following a game being played, fans also love to talk, discuss and argue over baseball, often in public places such as bars.
- Chris Arvidson and Diana Nelson Jones: The Love of Baseball: Essays by Lifelong Fans, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2017. ISBN 978-1-4766-6983-0
- Matthew M. Clifford: "Fanatic Fatality: One of the Most Violent Baseball Arguments in History", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 46, Number 2 (Fall 2017), pp. 27-31.
- William Freedman: More Than a Pastime: An Oral History of Baseball Fans, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 1998. ISBN 978-0-7864-9381-4
- George Gmelch: "Groupies and American Baseball", Journal of Sport and Social Issues, Vol. 22, Nr. 1, 1998, pp. 32-45.
- Zack Hample: Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan's Guide for Beginners, Semi-Experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks, Vintage Books, New York, NY, 2007. ISBN 978-0-307-28032-9
- Jessica Luther and Kavitha A. Davidson: Loving Sports When They Don't Love You back: Dilemmas of the Modern Fan, University of Texas Press, Austin, TX, 2020. ISBN 9781477313138
- Rich O'Malley: One Lucky Fan: From Bleachers to Box Seats, Chasing the Ultimate Sports Dream to Visit All 123 MLB, NBA, NFL & NHL Teams, Post Hill Press, New York, NY and Memphis, TN, 2019. ISBN 978-1642931129
- Fred Stein: A History of the Baseball Fan, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2005.