Play It Again Sports bedecks kids and adults with high-end, wallet-friendly athletic armor so they can kick, swing, punt, and take exception to referee calls with gusto. New inventory arrives regularly, and the knowledgeable staff leads quality-seeking shoppers to the top brands that line the spacious shelves, including TaylorMade, Nike, Adidas, Easton, and more. As temperatures fall, the sports mongers assist winter enthusiasts in replacing equipment damaged during slip ‘n’ slide experimentation, offering snow tubes ($14.99), figure and hockey skates ($19.99+), and snowboard helmets ($36.99). Skate sharpening ($4–$8) ensures effective ice slicing, while the snowboard and ski service keeps powderheads gliding with a careful cleaning, full hot-wax treatment, and inspection ($30). Play It Again Sports also stocks a complete line of gear for warmer-weather sports, such as football, soccer, and skateboarding. Otherwise, customers can get started with a collection of workout accessories so that they're prepared to play any sports that appear in their dreams.
Baseball is alive all year-round at All Star Indoor Batting Range Baseball & Softball Academy. Started in 1991 by three baseball fans—Kevin and Brian Gilroy and Frank Rizzo—the facility gives players the chance to practice no matter how many inches of snow or packs of rabid umpires are flurrying outside. The 15,000-square-foot sports haven boasts seven tunnel cages for practicing all aspects of the game. Other elements, such as stadium benches and 7,000 square feet of artificial turf, give the academy the feel of an indoor diamond. To help players take their skills to the next level, the academy also offers private and semiprivate lessons, and maintains a pro shop stocked with essential gear.
Western Connecticut Baseball Academy trains any level of ball player, from bench warmer to bench destroyer, adults and children, providing anything from an introduction to the game to advanced nuances of the stitched sphere. Instructors with college and professional playing and coaching under their belts, or in their pockets (whichever is more convenient), can convert a glove fumbling for grounders into a double-play-making giant leather hand of success. A bat that yearns for the delicious taste of the screaming fastball suddenly halted, quieted, and sent hurtling back in the opposite direction, can learn to feast upon its leather-clad prey, rather than retiring inning after inning hungry, wanting. Pitches that fail to enter the zone without getting picked off by any goon with a stick can be groomed to gain speed, confidence, and the ability to whisper little facts about historical architecture as they whiz by confused batters’ faces.
Wilton Sport & Fitness’s new facility was built to fill the void of indoor sports facilities for athletes in the area, and it does so with a massive indoor turf field and state-of-the-art Cybex cardio and strength-training equipment. Housed within the facility, Pinnacle Health offers private and semiprivate fitness classes led by trainers with extensive sports and fitness backgrounds.
Even if you're not a seasoned athlete, ProMotions Training Academy gets both adults and kids in shape for the sporting season. Here, professionals—including many who have played in the major and minor leagues—provide private training sessions in the basic skills and mechanics of football, soccer, baseball, and softball. For those who would prefer to scrutinize their own swing, the facility also boasts a 5,500 square foot turf area with sliding nets and tunnels for battling and pitching, and personal training and speed and agility classes are also available for anyone looking to get into fighting form. Kids' boot camp classes are also available. After sweating on the field, students can head to the lounge area to look up their favorite players' stats on the free Wi-Fi or practice their touch-down dance in the reflective glass of the vending machines.
In 2012, the Bluefish became the first team in Atlantic League history to reach 1,000 victories. It was a huge milestone for a franchise that today, stands as one of only two remaining charter teams throughout the entire league. The 'Fish initially brought baseball back to Park City in 1998, and advanced to the league championship series in a losing effort. A year later, though, they returned with their first league title after defeating the Somerset Patriots.
The team's early success established a winning tradition–in fact, the Bluefish didn't suffer their first losing season until their eighth year of existence. Winning hasn't been the only tradition in Bridgeport, however. The Bluefish battle the Long Island Ducks every season for the Ferry Cup, trying to establish regional supremacy on the baseball diamond instead of by firing a barrage of used baseballs across the Long Island Sound.