The Batting Range, at 201 W. Cottonwood St., celebrated its 30th anniversary this Labor Day weekend. In September 1991, the 3-cage facility opened to a huge crowd and has provided fun, exercise, and skill improvement to batters of all ages for the past 30 years.
Three speeds are offered: slow pitch softball at about 25 mph, Little League speed at about 40/50 mph, and high school all-star proficient at about 70/80 mph.
Individuals, teams and scholarship hopefuls have practiced in the cages, gaining precising in timing and accuracy, overcoming fears and generating confidence. Parents have helped little T-leaguers learn how to swing the bat. Softball co-ed leaguers have had fun preparing for their games. Little League teams have practiced their skills, especially before tournaments. Single individuals have experienced and relieved stress at the Batting Range.
“I Batted 1,000,” a difficult-to-achieve honor, has challenged hopefuls to hit 10 games in the 70/80 cage within a 3-month timeline. When successful, their names were printed on a plaque on display at the concession stand. They received recognition with an article in the newspaper, and gifts such as a T-shirt, a drinking cup, and the pride of accomplishment.
The outdoor facility is open 7 days a week, and social distancing is a natural. Cost is 10 balls for $1 or rent a cage at $20 for 30 minutes.