When young ballplayers need to diagnose weaknesses in their game, they make an appointment with The Hit Doctor. They leave with a better understanding of the game, and skills they can fall back on for the entirety of their career. Since 1989, The Hit Doctor has boosted baseball and softball players to the next level with camps, private lessons, team workouts, and video analysis. All of those offerings operate under the direction of the academy's staff of coaches, each handpicked for his or her knowledge of the game and ability to communicate it through words instead of through complicated strings of nose taps and cap tugs.
Framed by the foul poles, vistas of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and the Philadelphia skyline peer over the outfield at Campbell?s Field, adding a serene backdrop to the action on the diamond below. Home to the Camden Riversharks since their Atlantic League debut in 2001, the family-friendly stadium seats up to 6,425 fans and includes a 5,000-square-foot play area, where tykes can run through an obstacle course, plunge down a giant slide, or enter the speed pitching booth to mimic their favorite cricket bowlers.
Since digging its cleats into the Philadelphia baseball scene in 1998, All Star Baseball Academy has helped launch the college careers of hundreds of players?and the big league careers of dozens more. Designed for ballplayers ages 5 to 18, the academy sharpens on-the-field skills with private instruction, leagues, camps, and tournaments. Read the academy's mission statement here.
This diverse selection of training opportunities stands as a testament to ASBA's growth: the academy now has five facilities under its umbrella, totaling more than 90,000 square feet of training space. Multiple times throughout the year, ASBA sets aside its own training areas to host prospect camps at universities and stadiums. There, coaches and scouts can watch ballplayers in action, timing how fast they run, assessing their pitch speed, and seeing how well they hit with pool noodles instead of bats.
New Jersey Diamond Academy provides baseball and softball players with all of the training, support, and equipment they need to become a more competitive athlete. The facility features more than 14 batting cages where visitors can refine their swing or test their latent telekinesis, although the training area also includes four pitching tunnels, 7,500 square feet of artificial turf for fielding practice, and 2,500 square feet of space devoted to weightlifting and conditioning workouts. Together, these amenities ensure that players have virtually everything they need to improve a particular aspect of their game. However, the academy also offers personalized guidance in the form of performance-training programs, which are designed and overseen by a licensed physical therapist dedicated to helping athletes become stronger and faster while minimizing the risk of injury.
Big League Dreams echoes with the sounds of cracking bats, clunking golf balls, and screeching laser cannons. Inside the 40,000 square-foot facility, players of all ages enjoy a game of wiffle ball on a field built to mirror a real major league park. Meanwhile, an 18-hole glow-in-the-dark mini-golf course plunges visitors into a world of darkened corridors and bright neon colors, and an arcade hums with the sounds of racing, sports, and adventure games. The only time guests venture outside is when to play a game of laser tag on the 2.5 acre wooded field.
After joining the South Atlantic League in 2001, the LakeWood BlueClaws didn't hesitate to make their mark. In less than a decade, the team won three league championships, including a landmark 2010 season in which they became the first club in SAL history to win the division in both halves of the season and go on to claim the title. As the Philadelphia Phillies' Class-A affiliate, the team has sent 50 players to the majors, including an eventual National League MVP and the 2010 Phillies' star 8-foot mutant crab at shortstop.