What’s the deal with pro athlete pre-game luggage?
September 10, 2020 4:13 PM   Subscribe

When a professional athlete arrives at their stadium, arena, or other game location, they are sometimes pulling luggage or carrying a backpack. All of their game equipment is provided by the team, so what are they bringing with them? Why are they carrying it in themselves instead of having it be handled by an equipment manager? Is this something generally done by just the away team, or is it common for the home team as well?
posted by zebra to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Personal stuff they don't want anyone else to handle / do not want out of their sight?

Cricket's Jack Russell is a well-known example of this.
posted by Calvin and the Duplicators at 4:25 PM on September 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Just guessing here: casual clothes for after the game, toiletries, personal technology, jewelry, etc. Things you wouldn’t want to leave unattended on a bus or in a hotel room. Basically the stuff you’d put in your carry-on bag. If they are traveling, they may go straight to the arena and not see the hotel until after the game.
posted by gnutron at 4:44 PM on September 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

NBA players all carry dopp kits. It's partially a fashion statement. Some have larger bags with their personal belongings. Remember a lot of times they are taking a bus from the hotel to the game, so they have a backpack with their iPads and such.

Also I think it is much more convenient/secure to carry your own small personal bag than to hand it off to an equipment manager who is handling dozens of other responsibilities.
posted by acidic at 4:57 PM on September 10, 2020 [3 favorites]

It's not their official equipment needed to play. It's their personal clothing and items. They'll often arrive in casual clothing and after the game they're dressed in much nicer clothes/suits.
posted by quince at 6:21 PM on September 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Yes it is their personal stuff— electronics, clothes, lucky sweatshirt, whatever. Anything they don’t want lost in the shuffle, just in case. Everyone does it, home and away. This is in baseball, anyhow.
posted by oflinkey at 7:38 PM on September 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: When I traveled with a college football team, we’d often go from hotel to game to charter flight home, so it’s anything they don’t want to leave unmonitored on the bus. For home games, the team would stay in a hotel just out of town and bring their overnight bag into the stadium, as they would head to their dorms/apartments afterwards.
posted by icaicaer at 8:10 PM on September 10, 2020

I couldn’t imagine travelling anywhere, pro athlete or not, without personal effects in a bag of some kind.
posted by lemon_icing at 8:53 PM on September 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

What they visibly carry can also be tied into an endorsement deal with the luggage brand.
posted by dowcrag at 4:11 AM on September 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For baseball players, sometimes they're lugging their bats and other game stuff. They also could legit be carrying all their luggage if they just got called up to the Majors and caught a last-minute flight.

Herr Duck works for the Twins and one day ran into a man with several giant bags wandering the concourse at Target Field, looking stressed out and confused. He asked the guy if he was lost and the guy said "Tigers! Club! Tigers!". There was a considerable language barrier as they tried to communicate, but then the man opened up his giant bag to reveal that it was full of bats. He was a Tigers player who'd gotten called up the night before, flown in that morning, and went straight to the ballpark with all of his luggage. He had somehow wandered into the public area of the ballpark and couldn't find his way to the visiting team's clubhouse. Herr Duck helped him find his way to the appropriate clubhouse and the player (Ronny Rodriguez) went 1-3 that day and scored a run.
posted by Gray Duck at 8:25 AM on September 11, 2020 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Update from BF who worked in baseball forever- watch the pitchers take the bullpen before the game. The newest pitcher—the least experienced— will be carrying a backpack. It has all the snacks. He he better not forget it.
posted by oflinkey at 5:00 PM on September 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

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