With a former Oakland Athletic and two ex-minor leaguers on staff, Baseball Unlimited Training Center is a safe haven to help young hitters, pitchers, and fielders take their skills to the next level. The 7,500-square-foot facility houses five separate hitting and pitching tunnels extending to 65 feet in length, suitable for practicing all baseball or softball pitches, except for spitballs or cannonballs. The center hosts ballplayers ranging from little leaguers to college players, who can each take part in camps and clinics or practice individually through batting-cage rentals in 30-minute allotments.
The Worcester Tornadoes man the diamond at Fitton Field, a historical ballpark that has hosted America's pastime for more than a century. The VIP tickets place onlookers right by all the infield action, close enough to admire players' torque-twisting swings and umpires' gentle coos. The included team baseball cap can be used to shield eyes from the harsh summer sun or to catch foul-tipped beverages as they plummet toward unsuspecting thighs. Purchasers of this Groupon can also enjoy half off admittance to the Tornadoes' opening-day game against the New York Federals on Monday, May 30 at 7:05 p.m.
At Mulligan's Island Golf & Entertainment, 60 covered hitting stalls look out onto 11 acres of target areas, a sprawling configuration that helped earn the facility a spot on Golf Range Magazine's 2011 list of top 100 ranges. Golfers can use the driving range's 20 heated stalls to practice during off-season months without worrying about cooler temperatures stiffening their swings, or they can invest in lessons that use digital teaching methods such as computerized swing analysis to lower handicaps. A USGA-rated course tests participants with nine holes of regulation-size golf, while an 18-hole pitch-and-putt short course and two mini-golf courses help golfers calibrate aspects of their short game. The practice mecca also tests swings at 10 batting cages that feed baseballs and softballs at adjustable speeds to suit both little leaguers and professionals fishing for compliments.
The Pawtucket Red Sox, the Boston Red Sox's Triple-A affiliate, gives fans a glimpse of the players who are on the brink of cracking the glass ceiling in order to ascend into the pros. On April 30, will them to victory with shouts of encouragement from any of the blue general-admission seats as the team takes on the Toledo Mud Hens.
With a three-time Louisville Slugger Region 21 coach of the year and a scout for the Florida Marlins on its seven-man roster, the staff at Upper Deck Baseball Academy commands years of competitive diamond expertise. The team puts its 8,900-square-foot facility to work assisting budding baseball and softball stars with improvement of their physical, mechanical, and mental capabilities through creative, focused drills. Two Iron Mike pitching machines and two Jugs pitching machines hurl heat down the indoor batting cages, allowing players to work on bat speed and hitting to the opposite field without the awkward eye contact that comes with facing a real pitcher. Players can also have their chops recorded with video swing analysis, allowing for real-time feedback on swing mechanics.