In each issue of Athlon Sports & Life, we pick six of our favorite things. They may be books, automobiles, games, gear, booze, apparel or whatever happens to be awesome. Here's what made our list this issue:
Depending on your sport, there's a glove option for you. We tried the Pure Grip Sports Gloves for baseball. Yes, they feel weird when you first put them on—due to their heft—but that's the point. The gloves' weight (up to 2 lbs., based on size) is strategically placed around flex points on the top side of the glove and feature sheepskin leather on the palm. This helps both strengthen hand and arm muscles and improve dexterity. And hey, if it's good enough for brand ambassador David Ortiz, it's good enough for us.
Billed as the "full-throttle saga of NASCAR's first family," author Jay Busbee looks at the life and times of the Earnhardt family, from Ralph Earnhardt and Dale Sr., to Dale Jr., who's keeping the legacy alive. Fans of The Intimator will enjoy this trip down memory lane and deep dive into NASCAR royalty.
2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
There's just something great about a truck that can head off-road at the drop of a hat. This Pro package on the always dependable Tacoma offers a wider, higher stance, a bold grille, and an overall feel that screams, "I'll eat your neighbor's sedan." When it hits the market this fall, it will boast all-new FOX 2.5 Internal Bypass shocks tuned by TRD, Rigid Industries LED fog lights, an aluminum TRD front skid plate, Baja-inspired TRD alloy wheels wrapped with Kevlar-reinforced Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain tires, and an available 6-speed automatic or manual transmission. Now bring on the zombie apocalypse!
Price: TBD, Toyota.com
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2015
Each year Master Distiller John Campbell handcrafts a limited-edition malt to celebrate friendship (“Cairdeas“ in Gaelic). It worked. After a few sips, we were calling Campbell our best friend, thanks to a smokey, peaty taste that kicked us right in the teeth, but went down smooth and warm. At 103 proof, it's not for the novice whisky drinker, so feel free to cut it with ice or water to open up the flavors. In short, it's the sort of single-malt scotch whisky your WWII grandfather would love. And so did we.
Looking for the ultimate wallhanger in your man cave or office? Look no more. Ballpark Blueprints offers up stunning blueprints/artwork that showcase the architectural designs of most major sports venues, from classic baseball ballparks to modern-day college football stadiums. Each print features historical information and comes in various size options. Prices can range from $40 for the print to $210 for a framed and matted piece. We recommend spending the extra money and getting it framed. Truly a must-have for any sports fan.
Reactor Titan Watch
This is one tough sports watch. We took it running, hiking, swimming and muddy mountain biking. It handled it all like a pro. The Titan series has a stainless steel core with a rugged polymer shell—that looks better in person than photos—for superior impact and (200M) water resistance. Swiss movement with 10-year power cell keep it running on time, while it shines bright in low light thanks to glowing tritium tubes. To top things off, the watch comes packaged in a container intended to be converted into a drink koozie. We tested it with a cold beer and stared at our wrist, admiring the coolness of the last performance sports watch we'll ever need.