It’s baseball season once again, which means it’s the perfect time to remind everyone of the most important rules of the sport. And I’m not talking about stuff like infield flies, here. I’m not even talking about how to be supportive without trying to relive your glory days through your kids, or why you shouldn’t yell at the poor high school kid who’s umping for your son’s game — which are all good rules.
Nope, I’m talking about those truths that veteran baseball parents know. But really, most of these can apply to any sport your child plays. Pay attention, rookies! You’ll thank me later.
1. Find out what the job entails before offering to be a team parent.
For example, on my son’s football team, the team mom washes all the uniforms. All of them. Every week. We’re talking 20 smelly jerseys stinking up your laundry room every single week. Know what you’re getting into.
2. Better yet, never volunteer to be a team parent.
3. DO volunteer to be on the committee that chooses uniforms.
Otherwise, some guy who has never done a load of laundry in his life will end up choosing white baseball pants for your kid. White + orange baseball sand + sliding into home = stains that will never come out.
4. Buy OxiClean.
Lots of OxiClean.
5. Do not brag about your child’s athletic ability.
Because the minute you do, he’ll strike out or make an error.
6. Do not go to the concession stand for any reason.
The minute you do, you set a precedent, and from there on out your kids will beg you for food, drinks, and candy. Every. Single. Game.
7. When your kid asks, “Did you see that catch/play/hit?” …
The answer is always, “YES!”
8. Always carry sidewalk chalk and snacks.
Just trust me on this one.
9. Do not park your car next to the outfield.
It WILL get hit.
10. Make sure your car insurance covers broken windshields hit by home runs.
11. Keep those single-use, instant cold packs on hand.
You know, because there’s …
12. No crying in baseball!
13. Invest in one of those fold-up, cushioned seats with a back that you can strap to the bleachers.
Or, better yet, get a reclining camping chair with an umbrella and a footrest!
14. When someone yells, “Heads up!” do NOT look up.
Duck and cover!