After being in the cold and dark of winter for four long months, baseball fans like me finally have something to be excited about now that spring training has started. Die-hard fans who can’t wait for the regular season to start are still heading south to Arizona and Florida to see their favorite team and players in a low-key and fun atmosphere.
I’ve traveled down to Florida for spring training in the past and there’s no experience like it. It’s exciting to see the beginning of a new baseball season. Hearing the crack of the bat and the muffled thud as a baseball hits leather. And then smelling the familiar aromas of ballpark food like peanuts and Cracker Jack while tailgating in the parking lot under my JoeShade sports umbrella. And best of all, I’ve enjoyed the sunshine for a few days while watching my lifetime favorite sport.
But if there’s one thing I don’t enjoy about spring training, it’s packing for my trip. The weather can be unpredictable this time of year, so if your idea of essential gear is sunglasses and a swimsuit, think again!
For baseball fans heading down to spring training this year, here are some tips I’ve put together, based on my own experience, to make your trip a home run.
Baseball fans want spring training weather to be warm and sunny, but that’s not always the case. The weather can fluctuate, just look at the recent snowfall Arizona received last month as an example! Remember that intense sun rays can penetrate overcast clouds and can give you a sunburn even in cooler weather. Remember, bring sunscreen, your favorite baseball cap, and a pair of UV sunglasses as necessary accessories for enjoying a day at the ball park. If you plan on tailgating before the games, pack your sports umbrella so you and your family will be protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays and feel comfortable. Bringing home with a souvenir from your trip should be the home run ball you caught, not a sunburn!
Whenever the temperature fluctuates, wearing layers will help you keep comfortable. Pack some jackets, long-sleeve t-shirts, and pants to layer on top of basics like short sleeve t-shirts, tank tops and shorts. Of course, all of this clothing should have your team’s log on it or at least be in your team’s colors, but that should be obvious!
If the weather is bright and sunny, wearing long clothing is a great way to keep you skin safe from sun rays known to cause skin damage and cancer. Sitting in the stands watching a game means you will be out in the sun for a really long period of time, and since most spring training games are in the afternoon when the sun’s rays are strongest, it’s very easy to get sunburned.
There is so much to do in Arizona and Florida that it’s worth your time to venture out and explore. In between baseball games, check out the local food, history and scenery. Question, have you ever seen how large Arizona cactus can get? During your down time bring along your favorite book and sports umbrella and relax on the beach with your toes in the sand. Or bring your golf clubs and enjoy the many wonderful courses that Arizona and Florida offer. Whatever your preference, just take advantage of the outdoor fun in the sun while you can because once you head home to the cold, it will be a while for the summer weather to make its way north.
Have you been to spring training this year? Please leave a comment below and let us know what essential gear you are packing for your trip.