One thing I've noticed about showing up early to the ballpark is that it gives the fan the opportunity to 'take it all in.' This can be done during the game, of course, but I, for one, would prefer to focus my attention on the action once the game begins. Yes, it's fun to watch certain players taking BP- hitting bombs into the stands- but it also allows for me to notice the city skyline, the flag whipping in the wind (and which direction it's blowing), the patterns in the infield/outfield grass.
For many collectors, anticipation once included eagerly awaiting that first pack of Topps baseball primarily because we didn't know what the design would look like. There were no price guides with advertisements, no pre-production samples and no internet to view the sell sheets. Once the packs began arriving in stores, we would tear into them, taking in all the colors, all the fonts and all the lines and shapes that defined that year's product.
Anticipation in today's hobby is more about studying the checklist three weeks before release date, and having already judged a product well before it's in hand. And, just hoping that there are plenty of photographs that are well worth the wait.