*This post is not meant to be an exhaustive list of EVERYTHING you should carry to a tournament. That would fill a book. And there would still be things left out.
Based on my seven years as a travel baseball parent, I’ve learned that every team has at least one mom who comes prepared for everything. And I mean everything.
In her voluminous bag, which can conveniently be transformed into a bomb shelter, she carries essential supplies for dealing with everything from muscle cramps to a rabid pygmy invasion. Need a Band Aid or some glove oil? She’s got it. Need a prosthetic hand or some C-4 explosives? Yep. She’s got it covered. (Individual experiences may vary…or not.)
The “Mrs. Bag-O-Everything” on my son Andrew’s team is Mutt Jones. She’s awesome!
She also gets the award for most hair color changes in a season.
Last weekend, Rattlers’ third baseman Jack A. was suffering from paralyzing muscle cramps. As the rest of us rifled through our inadequately stocked bags in search of Ibuprofen, Mutt pulled out a bottle of French’s mustard. She then squeezed a bright yellow dollop into a plastic spoon and handed it to Jack, who looked around helplessly for a hot dog to spread it on.
“No, you take it like medicine,” she directed.
So he did.* And the cramps subsided shortly after the other boys’ laughter and fake gagging subsided.
In addition to mustard, Mutt carries other helpful, yet questionable things in her baseball bag, like horse liniment, rubber gloves and a blood transfusion machine.
Plus she keeps a bunch of normal stuff that no baseball mom should ever be without.
- Biofreeze or Icy Hot – A must for easing sore muscles. (Mutt says horse liniment works better than either of these. Where do you even buy horse liniment?)
- Insect Repellent – If you live where mosquitoes are prevalent, this stuff is essential. If gnats are bad, carry dryer sheets to rub on players’ faces and necks. However, this might appear strange to those who don’t know this trick. “Why is that coach rubbing his players down with dryer sheets?”
- After Bite – In case you forgot your insect repellent, a stick of this stuff will make mosquito bites much less miserable.
- Wet Ones – There’s always something or someone sticky and in need of a quick clean up.
- Ice Compress – It’s all fun and games until someone gets hit in the eye, shoulder, knee, chin, gall bladder, dignity…Whatever, the injury, an ice pack is almost always the answer.
- Ibuprofen – I can’t stress this enough. Always have Ibuprofen!!!
- Sunblock – Unless your team plays in a dome or on the dark side of the moon, then your players are at greater risk of sunburn than you think. Even on overcast days during a solar eclipse, there’s burn potential. Always remember the sunblock..
- Pickle Juice – This stuff isn’t just for pregnancy cravings. I’ve heard that drinking pickle juice is a faster, more effective way to replace electrolytes than Gatorade or Powerade. (We haven’t done any scientific studies to prove this, though.)
- Extra Contact Lenses – You never know when a spontaneous sandstorm might pop up. I’ve learned the hard way to be prepared for this. You should too, especially those of you who play tournaments in the Sahara.
- Allergy Meds – Whatever your player takes for allergies, keep it handy. There’s nothing worse than trying to turn a double play with your eyes swollen shut.
- Extra Cash – Much to our collective dismay, 95% of travel ball concession stands don’t accept debit cards. And the average 2-day tournament requires at least 17 concession stand visits. You don’t want to run out of money when your 4-year-old is begging for one more blow pop.
- Sharpie – This is for writing pertinent info on those keepsake home run balls. (Mutt thinks of everything.)
Is there a Mrs. Bag ‘O Everything on your kid’s team? We’d love to feature her on our new series “What’s in her bag?” Message us on our Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org, with the name and contact info of your nominee.
*To be completely honest, Jack refused to eat the mustard after I took his photo. He just couldn’t make himself do it.