As the Advanced-A minor-league affiliate for the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Visalia Rawhide caters to baseball buffs with professional bat-cracking action and advance screenings of future big-league stars. This year the team celebrates 65 years of play at the recently renovated Recreation Park, an intimate stadium of spherical slinging where fans sit so close to the field that they can call pitches and notice subtle interventions from celestial outfielders. When the players’ endless running, throwing, and sunflower noshing inspires spectators' stomachs to hunger, the park’s three concession stands offer satiation with a bevy of ballpark eats.
Gymnastics Learning Center's experienced instructors engage energized tots with an array of challenging athletic activities that aid children in motor- and social-skill development. KinderGym, JuniorGym, and parent-assisted MiniGym courses teach tots younger than age 6 the fundamentals of muscular movement and how to finally earn their cat's respect. Sixty-minute beginning gymnastics or trampoline classes imbue older pupils with stretching and bouncing basics, and 90-minute intermediate gymnastics or trampoline courses explore more advanced balancing and bounding techniques. Small class sizes ensure that enthusiastic staff can safely escort whippersnappers as they navigate beams, spring from vaults, dangle from rings, or employ the silent treatment on disobedient pommel horses. Customers should check Gymnastics Learning Center's schedule to determine the most appropriate class time and fit.
Rich Taylor and George Silvey run San Jose Batting Cages camps. In fact, running baseball and softball camps is what these two have been doing for more than 30 years. Rich has spent more than 35 years developing Little League and D1 players at Pepperdine University, which is where he coached three All Americans. Twenty of his players signed professional contracts during his tenure as a pitching coach. George has more than 40 years of coaching experience and is the current Varsity Softball Pitching and Assistant Head Coach for Los Gatos High School. With a relentless focus on practice, San Jose Batting Cages lets players improve their hitting, pitching, defense, and all-around game to better prepare for their next outing on the diamond.
Whether working through in-season regimens or off-season training, baseball and softball players can perfect their swing within San Jose Batting Cages' batting cages and training facility, which stays open until 9 p.m. during the week. Instructors offer hitting and pitching lessons as well as team and group clinics to help athletes develop all aspects of their game.
For the better part of a century, Spartan Stadium has been a cornerstone of San Jose State athletics and university life, hosting more than 300 home football games since 1933, as well as soccer games and concerts packed with more than 30,000 fans. Open during home football games, the Jeff Garcia Hall of Champions pays tribute to more than 300 former athletes and coaches, including pro football stars, golfers, and judo experts. Beyond the football team's keep, the other bastion of SJSU athletics, the Event Center, opened its doors in the late '80s to house men's and women's basketball contests as well as a weight room for students and a take-a-foam-finger, leave-a-foam-finger depository for fans. Spartan athletics maintains a high pedigree throughout their programs, including recent WAC championships for their men's and women's golf teams.
The extensive facilities of MVP Arena, which include indoor and outdoor fields, a basketball court, and batting cages, host visitors for an array of sports leagues and classes. Adults hone their skills in training classes and then unveil new maneuvers on one another during league games for basketball, flag football, and soccer. Bat wielders practice swing timing and charging the mound without fear of retaliation in the batting cages, where regulation pitching distance and a mural of the San Francisco Bay recreate the excitement of practicing in a big-league stadium. In addition, three of the cages feature virtual pitchers that help batters time ball delivery at different speeds or a random assortment of slow, medium, and fast.
A charter member of the MLS, the San Jose Earthquakes played their first four seasons as the Clash before claiming the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003. Though the team moved to Houston in '05, the franchise was reinstated in '08, bringing professional soccer back to the Bay Area. Buck Shaw Stadium serves as the team's current home, though a new stadium will shoot skyward in 2014, complete with luxury suites for fans and exhausted referees alike.