Consider 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 Philadelphia.
For the Sweet Swinger
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.
For the Conscientious Drinker
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 Brookstone's Philadelphia Phillies Team Coasters with Game Field Dirt that feature a medallion holding authentic dirt from Citizens Bank Park. Protecting your wood surfaces while showing off your team pride, these unique coasters come complete with a cherry wood holder, individual MLB holograms that authenticate the dirt, and a Steiner Sports Certificate of Authenticity. It's a new way to look at history.
For the Sharp-Dressed Fan
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 2008 season ended, but also never forgetting the agony of how the 2009 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 Phils you've been searching for, from Spring Training t-shirts to championship jackets, jerseys, hats and more. Because there's no pride quite like Phillies Pride.
For the Sentimental Decorator
While the El 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 Philadelphians, the Phillies, with a vintage-style MLB Subway Sign. Featuring dirt from Citizens Bank Park that's authenticated by the MLB, this unique poster details stops in Phillies history (like Ashburn Alley, the Bull and the Fightin' Phils) instead of stops along the subway lines, and comes in a high-quality, one-inch thick frame.
For the Law-Abiding Scalper
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 Bank is a pretty big step up from just about any other stadium. With TicketsNow, you'll have instant access to tickets to all Phillies games, from Spring Training to pivotal September showdowns at CBP. From nosebleeds to box seats, TicketsNow has ample options no matter your budget. So root, root, root for the home team (unless the Phils are on the road), and check out the easiest way to get into the old ballgame.
For the Ballpark Bucket List
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.
for more features.