My dugout devotees are at it again. All three of my boys (ages 8, 11, and 14) are playing rec and summer travel baseball this year, and Wilson is coaching several of their teams.
Right now, we’re juggling practices and games for six teams. Don’t get me wrong. I really like watching my kids play baseball and I don’t mind being outside for hours in the spring and summer. But you know what they say about too much of a good thing, right? Variety is the spice of life?
Too much baseball can make me cranky.
But all four of my boys love it, so I’ve joined ’em and found ways to make so many games enjoyable. Making friends with fellow fans is number 1. We look forward to spending time with many baseball families every summer.
Another way is to be prepared. Last year, I wrote a post about the Top 7 best baseball accessories. I’ve updated the items and most of the list works for any sporty family.
It’s quite possible my guys will play as many as 60 games this summer. But I’ll be ready. Read this and you will too!
Cooler for drinks/snacks— Usually peanuts and Cracker Jack don’t cut it. I would not be caught dead without cold drinks and snacks, especially for away games. You never know how long you could be stuck on a field somewhere. I did some research and I like this E-bags Crew Cooler because it’s soft so less heavy, holds a lot, and has several extra compartments for dry snacks and other necessities.
Tent – It took years of burning in the bleachers before I finally wised up and purchased a tent for shade. After polling mom experts, I chose this Quik Shade tent because it’s easy to put up and transport. I also try to always have sunscreen in the car. If only there were somewhere to plug-in a fan….
Water bottles-– I’m a big fan of Contigo vacuum-insulated stainless steel water bottles. My friend, fellow baseball mom, and stuff expert, Judy, gave me the heads up on them and they did not disappoint. They keep drinks icy cold for up to 8 hours, even sitting in the hot sun.
Cooling towel-– I don’t understand how these bright-colored rubbery things work but they do. You wet the Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad in cold water and it miraculously becomes considerably cooler than the outside air, but somehow feels dry. It provides cold relief to players and fans on a hot day and lasts a few hours. When it stops cooling, you can rewet it and use it again. And it’s machine washable– a home run!
Stadium chair— I have lower back issues so sitting in the bleachers or even on a folding chair for hours is a killer. This stadium chair is pretty light and clamps onto most bleacher types. It was very useful until we somehow lost the back piece in the bowels of our minivan trunk.
Eye black— For my kids, it’s all about the baseball fashion accessories. My oldest son, Jacob found these personalized eye black stickers, made to block out the sun. But the fact that my kids wear them on cloudy days convinces me they’re just for show. He has some with his jersey number, and some with his team name, but you can create any message you want on the Eyeblack.com website. They only cost $1 per pair so they make a great gift for sluggers.
Evo shields — And while we’re talking unnecessary accessories, my boys love these neoprene compression sleeves called Evo shields. They are for any athlete who has a weakened area, like the wrist– and needs extra protection from injury. They also have sleeves that cover almost an entire child’s arm. The website says the tight-fitting sleeve provides enhanced circulation and muscle support to reduce fatigue and improve muscle recovery. But my kids wear them because they think they look cool.
Umbrella– As they say in Bull Durham, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains….” and a wet fan is an unhappy fan. We always have a golf umbrella in the trunk just in case. It fits nicely in the cup holder of your chair so your hands are free to clap!
Sunflower seeds-– Food is usually frowned upon in the dugout but there are certain holy snacks permitted and sunflower seeds is probably the most popular. There’s something about spitting and baseball…and nothing eases the strikeout sting like a big bag of seeds. Kids get extra excited about the flavored ones like BBQ, ranch, salsa, nacho cheese, and dill.
Wine tote-– When you’re sick of complaints about the umpire, or need inspiration for extra innings, a little sip can be helpful. This wine tote keeps your bottle from breaking when it knocks up against the batting helmets in the car and keeps your vino at the right temperature. (For non-drivers only.) Also has glasses and a corkscrew and looks discreet, so no one needs to know. Bleacher boozing is probably against the rules so you didn’t hear this one from me.
Do you have any favorite sports accessories? Please share in the comments.