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Swing Into Baseball Season With These Essentials

esp_300x250Consider these essentials for spring – and Spring Training – brought to you by CBS Local's Eat See Play.

Spring Training is in full swing. Power hitters are analyzing their slugging percentages. Catchers are thanking the stars for the new home plate collision rules. The latest pitching phenoms are praying they won't ever need Tommy John surgery. And while you may not be called up to the big leagues anytime soon, it doesn't hurt to be prepared...just in case the entire team comes down with a mysterious case of food poisoning or you have a miraculous accident that give you "Rookie of the Year" level pitching prowess. So get ready for opening day with the E.S.P. Spring Training Guide, full of the tools, trappings and tickets you need to keep your hitting streak going straight through to fall.

Sign up here for more E.S.P. recommendations of things to eat, see and do in Boston.

all markets - swing perfecting trainer - hammacher schlemmer

For the Sweet Swinger
Hammacher Schlemmer
Price: $399.95

You could head all the way to the batting cages to improve your swing – although we hear the umpires there are terrible – or you could swing for the fences in the comfort of your own backyard with the High Repetition Swing Perfecting Trainer. Made with a regulation baseball strategically tethered by bungee cords, this trainer lets you hit the ball into the net before it recoils to its original position in seconds. But let's check out the stats: 15 practice swings per minute, 10 different pitching simulations, and 450 balls in 30 minutes. It can even be converted into a pitch-back system to practice fielding. Get the High Repetition Swing Perfecting Trainer here.

Photo Credit: Brookstone

For the Conscientious Drinker
Price: $49.99

Like most people, you have a very specific list of pet peeves: people who write 'FIRST' on online comments sections; literally using the word 'literally' incorrectly; and guests who leave water rings on your mahogany coffee table. But unlike most people, you have the means to prevent at least one of those irritations, as soon as you grab this classy set of four team coasters . Protecting your wood surfaces while showing off your team pride, these unique coasters are made of Botticino marble imported from Italy and are cork-backed to protect your tables. Throw in the included metal coaster stand, and you've got a sophisticated way to show your true colors. Get the Boston Red Sox Logo Drink Coasters here.

boston - red sox gear - CBS Fanshop
Photo Credit: CBS Fanshop

For the Sharp-Dressed Fan
CBS Fanshop
Price: varies

One does not simply become a fan of a team by wearing that team's logo. Fandom is about knowing not just the players' names, but their batting averages, ERAs, hometowns and offseason hobbies. It's about remembering how the 2013 season ended, but also never forgetting the agony of how the 2003 season ended. But if you're going to pay your dues as a fan, let the world know about it with a visit to CBS Fanshop, your destination for all the officially licensed Red Sox gear you've been searching for, from Spring Training t-shirts to championship jackets, jerseys, hats and more. Because there's no pride quite like Sox Pride. Get your fan gear from CBS Fanshop here.

boston - subway sign - brookstone
Photo Credit: Brookstone

For the Sentimental Decorator
Price: $50.00

While the T is best known for suspicious smells, a variety of weird stains and weekend influxes of drunken co-eds screaming obscenities, it's also one of the many things that (literally) connects our city. Pay homage to something else that connects Bostonians, baseball, with a vintage-style MLB Subway Sign. Featuring dirt from Fenway Park that's authenticated by the MLB, this unique poster details stops in Red Sox history (like Big Papi and Yawkey Way) instead of stops along the subway lines, and comes in a high-quality, one-inch thick frame. It's a new way to look at history. Get the MLB Subway Sign with Red Sox field dirt.

all markets - tickets - thinkstock
Photo Credit: Thinkstock

For The Law-Abiding Scalper
Tickets Now
Price: varies

Short of a gut-wrenching loss in the middle of a pennant race, there are few ways to attend an MLB game without enjoying yourself. But as all baseball fans know, catching a game at the Fens is a pretty big step up from just about any other stadium. With TicketsNow, you'll have instant access to tickets to all Sox games, from Spring Training to pivotal September showdowns at Fenway. From nosebleeds to box seats, TicketsNow has ample options no matter your budget. So root, root, root for the home team (unless the Sox are on the road), and check out the easiest way to get into the old ballgame. Get tickets to your next Red Sox game here.

all markets - personalized map - hammacher schlemmer
Photo Credit: Hammacher Schlemmer

For the Ballpark Bucket List
Hammacher Schlemmer
Price: $149.95

Between tracking your fantasy teams and the exorbitant price of tickets and concessions, it's no secret that football has become a much better sport to experience at home than in person. But whether it's the unique charms of each stadium or the sense of nostalgia and Americana that all red-blooded American males are required to have for the great game of baseball, the same cannot be said for our favorite pastime. Keep a constant reminder of your ballpark bucket list with the Personalized Baseball Ballpark Map. With a customizable metal plaque, the Ballpark Map lists all 59 stadiums that have hosted MLB teams since 1912, and includes colored pins to track stadiums you've been to as well as your future conquests. Set in a classy mahogany-stained frame, the Ballpark Map keeps you in mid-season form all year long. Get your Personalized Baseball Ballpark Map here.

By Jesse Husid and Arielle Sachar

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