Thursday, May 11, 2017

All-Star Chicken

I'm not sure if y'all know this but I got my start as a blogger with a recipe site called South Your Mouth. Well, I know at least one of you knows that because you left a lovely comment on my post about different types of baseball moms telling me maybe I should just stick to recipes. HA! Nah, I'm good but thanks!

Anyway! A few years ago Brutus made his coaches pitch all-star team. The team went all the way through to the State tournament so all of our free time was spent at the ballpark that summer. All that baseball was made it hard to eat good home-cooked meals and make new stuff for the recipe blog. Since we were practically living at the ballpark, I decided to take the blog to practice 😏

We had a really nice ballpark with a huge grill for members. Side note: you know you're in the South when the baseball park has a barbeque grill big enough to cook a hog on. I suggested we have a cookout and everyone pitched in to bring stuff.

I’d concocted this marinade for chicken a month or so before and we just fell in love with it so I figured it would be great if we marinated chicken thighs in it, grilled them up and made super simple chicken sandwiches. And that’s exactly what we did!

All-Star Chicken is perfect for cooking at the ballpark or away at weekend tournaments. Served on a bun, it's a great alternative to burgers and doesn't require all the condiments and veggies!

Well, I didn’t do the grilling. I made the marinade and got everything ready and my (then) new buddy, Harry, did the grilling. That’s the thing with good baseball. You’re practicing like every day and spending a ton of time with these parents and families and it is SUCH a relief when you all actually end up liking each other and having fun together. We're still close friends with Harry and his family all these years later 😍

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

5 Ways to Keep Cool at the Ballpark

These five tips will keep you cool at the ballpark all summer long. Post also includes a great tip for keeping cooling towels clean and disinfected for the team.

Our first year of all-stars landed us playing ball through the middle of July in what has GOT to be the hottest summer in South Carolina history.

I remember sitting through sub-district thinking we were all going to die. Surely one of these boys is going to fall out and have to be rushed to the hospital. No human can withstand this. Then we won and went through to district and I thought the same thing: We’re all going to die.

Then, blessed virgin of mercurial mercy, the state tournament was played in the upstate where the temps were a skosh cooler and I just thought some of us would be brain damaged – not actually die.

From that summer forward I made it my mission to beat the heat. And, if I’m being honest, I must have had my head in a cloud that summer because all I had to do was look around and see what the seasoned pros were doing to stay cool. My friends and I still laugh (embarrassedly so) at how we just sat there. We literally just sat there in that heat and did nothing to help ourselves. Oye. Ya live and learn, right?

So, here’s a list of stuff that now goes with us EVERY TIME we play ball and the temperature is over 90 degrees. This all seems obvious to me now but I certainly didn't think of it the first summer we needed it so if this helps anyone out there, it was worth throwing together!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

13 Types of Baseball Moms

This is copied from a post I published years ago on my recipe blog South Your Mouth. I thought y’all might enjoy it too so I’m sharing it here…

You know some of these moms. While the majority of baseball moms are completely normal, these moms do exist. I've seen them. In action.

And I have to go on the record and say that 99.999999% of the moms I've met and played with are absolutely delightful. As a matter of fact, the majority of our social circle is made from families we've met playing ball. But I am a people watcher. I probably should have been a sociologist. Or FBI profiler (ok, maybe not but I have read every Patricia Cornwell book). When everyone else is checking their email and chitchatting, I'm usually kicked back surveying the crowd. And after all these years at the field, I've seen some things that'll curl your toes!

From Politician Mom to CIA Mom, this funny list has every type of Baseball Mom covered. Which one are you?

1) Politician Mom
This is the career baseball mom who flits around coaches and board members like it’s her job. She will ditch you mid-sentence as soon as she sees Mitzy Boardmember come around the corner so she can get 30 seconds of face-time with her. She name-drops like a lobbyist and will do anything to get little Billy on the all-star team. Anything. Wink-wink.

2) Name Brand Mom
Name Brand Mom’s kid kinda sucks but it’s not from lack of high-dollar equipment and gear. She “discretely” confides to you that Hampton’s bat cost $600. Every piece of clothing her kid owns has giant it-brand logos emblazoned across the front in neon colors. His helmet and shoes cost more than your car payment and the only reason you know that is she “slipped up” and told you the prices.

3) Prowler Mom
Prowler mom is looking for a man. For reals. But until she lands one, she’ll settle for knowing all the dads and teenage boys are looking at her. This is the mom that shows up for a double-header wearing 4-inch wedges, a halter top and microshorts. She spends two hours straitening her hair before every game and doesn't let the 104-degree forecast deter her from slathering on six layers of makeup.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

42 Walk-Up Songs Guaranteed to Get Your Team Pumped Up

An easy to use list (with song links) of Rock, Country, Rap, Top 40 and Christian warm-up music and walk-up songs for baseball and softball.


I am THE WORST at thinking of songs on demand. I love music, and I love all kinds of music, but if you ask me to list my 5 favorite songs, I’ll probably just stare at you and blink. That’s actually how I decided to publish this list! Looking for songs myself, I asked my friends and on the Facebook page for everyone’s favorite walk-up songs and decided to put my favorites in one spot.

WARNING: Some of these songs contain explicit lyrics. Be sure to find the “radio version” of the song before adding it to your team’s playlist.

An easy to use list (with links) of Rock, Country, Rap, Top 40 and Christian warm-up music and walk-up songs for baseball and softball.


Rock
1. Thunderstruck – AC/DC
2. Black Betty – Ram Jam
3. No Sleep Till Brooklyn – Beastie Boys
4. Shoot to Thrill – AC/DC
5. Crazy Train – Ozzy Osborne
6. I Wanna Rock – Twisted Sister
7. Enter Sandman – Metallica
8. Kashmir – Led Zeppelin
9. Start Me Up – Rolling Stones
10. Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard
11. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
12. Welcome to the Jungle – Guns N’ Roses

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

11 Must-Haves at the Ballpark

A comprehensive list of what baseball moms need at the ballpark. From wagons to portable fans, this list covers all the must-haves (with a few laughs too!)


A comprehensive list of what baseball moms need at the ballpark. From wagons to portable fans, this list covers all the must-haves (with a few laughs too!)

1. A Folding Wagon
Nothing says Baseball Mom Level: Expert like a folding wagon. If you want to be taken seriously at the ballpark, you have to have a folding wagon. Period.

2. Folding Chairs
Bleachers are sooooo tee-ball. You’re not cool until you bring your own chair. Bonus points are awarded as follows:

10 points - You still know where the bag is
15 points - You still know where the bag is AND you actually use it
20 points - Your chair cost more than $12 and your butt isn’t sagging 4 inches from the ground
25 points - Your chair matches the team colors
40 points - Your chair is a rocker
50 points - Your chair has hydraulic anything on it

3. Soft Coolers
If you’re not smuggling in ham sandwiches and Gatorade in monogrammed, color-coordinated soft coolers you will never make any friends here.

4. Yeti Coolers
Simply put, rolling up into the ballpark with a Yeti just says, "We don’t f@#% around."

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Team Mom 101: How to be a Great Team Mom

First things first: There are Team Dads too. And if you knew me well, you would know I am an independent woman who doesn’t believe in gender-specific roles or limitations. My husband does laundry and I do our taxes. But since there are waaaaay more Team Moms out there than Team Dads, I’m addressing this to the moms. Okidokie, Smokey? 😏

The Team Mom can make or break your experience with a team. If you have a great Team Mom, go get her some Starbucks and tell her how much you appreciate her. I absolutely took great Team Moms for granted until I had a bad one and spent the first month of the season mining information out of her and banging my face into the wall.

The A-#1 rule for a great Team Mom is COMMUNICATE! COMMUNICATE! COMMUNICATE! Parents shouldn’t have to ask you too many questions because you’ve already anticipated those questions, gotten answers or direction from the coach or league and communicated it to your team.

I’m going to write this post as it pertains to rec ball (county recreation, Little league, Dixie Youth, etc.) so a lot of this won’t pertain to travel or club ball (note to self: write a Travel Ball Team Mom post sometime soon). This comes from my experience as both a Team Mom and a baseball/softball parent for nine years. If I’ve forgotten something, please let me know!

Team Mom 101: How to be a Great Team Mom | Manage your team in 3 easy steps with this guide for everything from Canteen Duty to Effective Group Texts. Plus a free printable Team Mom Tracker to keep you organized.

STEP ONE – CREATE A TEXT GROUP AND AN EMAIL LIST

The first thing you need to do it collect cell phone numbers and email addresses for all the parents. Create a Group Text and Email List with all the parents. Don’t assume Dad doesn’t want to know about softball bows or mom doesn’t want to know about batting practice. If someone wants off your distribution list, they’ll let you know.


STEP TWO – ADDRESS THE BIG STUFF WITH YOUR TEAM

Following are several important topics you will likely need to address with your team. Find out how (or if?) your league handles these, communicate with your coach (always get your coach’s buy-in before you address the team on the BIG STUFF), then get the information to your parents.

Uniforms
Leagues will issue basic uniform attire and rely on the parents to provide the rest. Some will only provide a shirt while others provide more. Determine what your league is providing then work with the coach to determine exactly what the parents will need to acquire ASAP. Often pants need to be ordered online or hemmed so allow ample time for parents. You will also need to find out what protective gear is required by the league and ensure each player has what s/he needs. If a team order is being placed for specialized or personalized items, communicate that as well.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Baseball Parent or Baseball PITA? Dos and Don’ts for Being a Great Ball Parent

OK, so when my kids first started playing sports there was A LOT I didn’t know. Most things I figured out along the way but I’m sure there were times over the years I was a PITA (pain in the a**) to a coach or my kid. I would like to have seen a list like this way back then before I fell into some of these ditches.

Being a “great ball parent” might not seem that important to you but, aside from the obvious reasons, one thing parents need to think about is how THEIR behavior may affect both their child and his or her opportunities.

Let’s say there’s one spot left on the all-star team or that crackerjack travel ball team you’d love to play for and there are three equally talented kids up for the spot. I can tell you from experience and from close friendships with coaches over the years, the kid with the PITA parents ain’t getting that spot. When all else is equal, coaches will look at the parents. Those parents who foster sportsmanship, let the coaches do their job, who show up ready for practice, who are pleasant and easy to get along with, etc. are who the coaches will lean toward.

Baseball Parent or Baseball PITA? Dos and Don’ts for Being a Great Ball Parent


13 Dos and Don’ts for Being a Great Ball Parent