The undeniable essentials for your summer baseball road trip
When you’re a baseball family, you do baseball things—like giving up your spring break to attend tournaments. Instead of eating those delicious churros at Disneyland, you’ve got an absurd amount of sunflower seeds in your car. And instead of heading to the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park, you’re en route to another small town to catch this weekend’s double header.
While others are at a beach playing in the sand, you’ve chosen to let your kids spit from the mound, kick dirt off their cleats, and work on their farmer’s tans.
But you wouldn’t have it any other way, because there are certain life lessons your kids learn on the field — and on the road — that they’d be hard pressed to learn anywhere else. That’s exactly why we’ve gathered a list of road trip must-haves to make your summer baseball road trips run smoothly.
1. Be sure to bring the cooler (and especially what goes inside)
Some tournaments may not allow a cooler in the dugout or bleachers, but you can always keep one in your car packed with the kind of glorious snacks and beverages that will make the other ill-prepared families jealous and merit a smile from the baseball gods. Don’t underestimate the snack game, it could seriously threaten your family’s overall happiness on the trip. Don’t believe us? Just ask this guy.
2. Portable chairs and shade
Bleachers get hot and uncomfortable all too quickly, so prepare beforehand by packing the camping chairs and a canopy or umbrella large enough for your whole group. Comfort makes all the difference when you’re attending tournaments all summer long.
3. A comprehensive first-aid kit
This one seems obvious, but you don’t want to forget it and learn the hard way just how badly you need one. It’s not uncommon for a family member to get a cut, twist an ankle, or need some ibuprofen or acetaminophen while on the road. Don’t tempt Murphy’s Law — just bring the kit.
4. Sunscreen, insect repellent, and sunglasses
Protection from the sun cannot be overemphasized, but we’ll try. PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE SUN. Got it? Good. And as for the repellent, you don’t want to be scratching and itching for days. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
5. Extra clothes.
Baseball is one of the few sports that’s played in the hot sun while wearing pants. Unlike golf — the only other sport we can think of that meets that criteria — you actually run in baseball. Even the best uniforms aren’t made with built-in air fresheners, so it’s a good idea to have more than one — just saying. You don’t want your kid to be the stinky one on the team, do you? DO YOU??? We didn’t think so.
6. Don’t you dare forget the equipment. Seriously.
In all the hustle and bustle to pack the car, please, oh please don’t forget to pack the actual baseball equipment. There’s nothing worse than riding the bench, or having to buy new equipment on the fly, because you forgot yours at home.
7. Entertainment for the rest of the family
Depending on how many children you have, and their ages, you’d be wise to pack a few extra iPads and some extra phone chargers. The last thing you want is today’s equivalent of “Are we there yet?” when your kids that aren’t playing say “I’m bored” in the top of the 3rd.
When it comes to anything baseball—even the essentials for the road trip—remember the great words that Babe Ruth spoke to Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez in “The Sandlot” movie: “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”
Now go out there and make your tournament road trips legendary.