It’s always baseball season somewhere, whether it’s the nearly 200-game Major League campaign (yes, it’s still going. It’s never not going), the Little League playoffs at the local rec center, or you teaching your kid how to play catch in the backyard. Football may be the new king of revenues and TV ratings, but as long as kids and their dads have gloves — and the other 9 items on this list — baseball will always be the national pastime.
New Era My 1st 9FIFTY Snapback CapThere’s only one choice for your kid’s first baseball cap: the official lid of their favorite big league club. If you heeded this advice, that will also be your favorite big league club. If not, prepare for a lot of long summers. Note: all summers will be long for fans of the team pictured, regardless of father-child team unity.
New Era My 1st 9FIFTY Snapback Cap ($18)
Fisher-Price Triple Hit BaseballHitting a pitched ball is better for hand-eye coordination than popping one off a tee, but if you’re teaching junior to mash ’em back up the middle, you’re liable to get caught in the crossfire. Solution: load up the Triple Hit pitching machine and prepare to shag flies. From a safe distance.
Fisher-Price Triple Hit Baseball ($24)
Vinci BRV1957 Youth Baseball GloveIt’s your fatherly birthright, not to mention patriotic duty, to show your kid how to properly break in and use a baseball glove. The Vinci Pro is pretreated to break in easier and has open-back webbing to help your kid actually catch the ball. All you have to do now is dust off your Tom Emanski defensive drills video (and, uh, the VCR) and start getting RESULTS.
Vinci BRV1957 Youth Baseball Glove ($60)
SKLZ Reduced Impact Safety BaseballsPractice with these soft, cushioned-construction balls to make sure teaching your kid to play the game doesn’t quickly devolve from “Keep your eye on the ball” to, “Don’t be afraid of it” to, “There’s no crying in baseball!”
SKLZ Reduced Impact Safety Baseballs ($9)
Easton YB14S50 S50 Youth Baseball BatThis aluminum alloy bat by Easton has a cushioned grip handle, so your kid will get all that *ping* without the sting. Which is just as well, because everyone knows that a truly badass ballplayer doesn’t wear batting gloves.
Easton YB14S50 S50 Youth Baseball Bat ($25)
Ebbets Field Flannels, Havana Sugar Kings 1955 Road JerseyIf you’re going to drop nearly $200 on a jersey, might as well spend it on a handcrafted, made to order original piece celebrating baseball history. The alternative is a mass-produced piece of polyester celebrating a possible steroid-user who’s 10 years younger than you.
Ebbets Field Flannels Havana Sugar Kings 1955 Road Jersey ($139)
American Needle Statesman Cap, Newark BearsSame goes for your choice of headwear, although you’d be forgiven if you’d prefer to rock the dome piece of a team that currently exists. If you choose not to memorialize Yogi Berra’s minor league years (blasphemy!) but still want to wear a vintage cap because, you know, vintage, American Needle has a quality replica for all 30 Major Leage squads. Yes, even you, Marlins fans.
American Needle Statesman Cap, Newark Bears ($38)
Wilson SoftFit A800 Baseball GloveUnderrated perk of your playing organized ball: the other dads have also been looking for a beer league softball team to join since college ended. Your old glove might still fit, but so might your old pants. Don’t chance it. This Wilson mitt is built to the exact specifications of Dustin Pedroia, a guy who somehow made the Majors despite being built like every dad at tee ball practice.
Wilson SoftFit A800 Baseball Glove ($49)
BSN Orange Throw Down BasesRarely are product names so perfectly literal. Throw down these orange bases and boom, the yard is now your own personal field of dreams. These are indoor safe, so technically the living room could also become your own personal field of dreams, although that’s not recommended.
BSN Orange Throw Down Bases ($15)
Big League Chew, Pack Of 12If you teach your kid nothing else about baseball than the fact that a bigass wad of Big League Chew is pretty much mandatory — for both players and fans — you’ll have taught them well.
Big League Chew, Pack Of 12 ($18)