Cup Shopping: What Do You Mean, "How Big Is He?"

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Similar to the school supply list we moms are allotted at the beginning of every school year, baseball coaches should hand out a “baseball supply list” at the start of each season. How is a mom who chose pom poms over a legitimate sport supposed to know that little boys need crotch protection out in the field? I know what a “cup” is from the days my dad would casually keep his out in the open after a game (his team’s name was the Bushwackers by the way, but that’s another story), so I know the purpose of a “cup,” but I just assumed it was for an older man … perhaps one with more substance.

cup sizing

So when my son came home from practice one day and told me he couldn’t be catcher since he didn’t have a cup, I got all up in his business, “Didn’t you grab your water bottle? I left it by the door before practice.” The eyes rolled and he grabbed his crotch, “No, Ma—a cup.”

Ohhhhhhh. I guess a shopping trip is in order. While I assumed the package would say, “cup for 8-year-old boy,” the wall of cups was overwhelming and sized as follows: XS, S, M, L, XL. No guidelines, nada. My dumbfounded stare attracted a pimply associate in a red polo shirt, “Can I help you find something, ma'am? ” (fricking "ma'am"—I hate that word). “My son needs a cup for baseball.” Unnecessary clarification of sport, but I was nervous. Now I know how dudes feel when they buy tampons.

“How big is he?” My eyes bulged, but before I did the sign of the cross, he interrupted,

“What’s his weight/height?” Phew. After Pimples helped me select the proper fit, he did what I now realize is “upselling” to a clueless mom. $342 later, I had multiple “athletic supporters” for two boys, sliding shorts, gripping gloves, adjustable belts in 2 colors, really long socks, a bag that has special slots for bats and some energy gel (which I consumed in the car—that shit really works! I’m still wired.)

Here are some good phrases to yell from the bleachers if you have limited knowledge of the sport: “Good eye, Bud!” (If they don’t swing at bad pitches) “Good contact!” (If they hit the ball but it results in an out.) “Throw strikes!” (If he is pitching.) “That’s okay!” (If they suck in general.)

Have you ever had to buy a cup?

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