The Madison Mallards take to the diamond each summer for three months of collegiate baseball, gathering players from across the country as they can hone their skills for a shot at the pros. The Mallards took home Northwoods League championships in 2004 and 2013, cheered on by some of the most devout and rowdy fans in the league. Fans that helped the team set a collegiate attendance record in 2012, drawing in more than 217,000 fans.
During a furnace maintenance visit, Harker Heating & Cooling's specialists give homes' heating units a thorough examination. Components slated for inspection include the thermostat, blower assembly, air filter, vents, electrical connections, and safeties. Pilot lights, heat exchanges, and burners receive a careful cleaning to remove excess dust or illegal Greek fire. To improve the furnace's efficiency, a technician will lubricate chafed motors and bearings with a spritz of oil. After checking for gas leaks or evidence of carbon monoxide, Harker's staffers test the water and run the furnace through a complete cycle to ensure that it's ready for another prolonged struggle with Old Man Winter.
Hitters SportsPlex is a 50,000-square-foot sports complex that gives aspiring sluggers the opportunity to train year-round in pristine indoor facilities. With three baseball cages and pitching machines capable of firing stitched orbs at adjustable speeds and emulating up to six different pitches, batters can perfect their swing against throws of all degrees of difficulty. Athletes can also hone their talents in climate-controlled, hi-tech practice facilities for tennis, indoor golf, and pickleball?a combination of ping-pong and tennis that's played on a giant plate next to a giant hamburger.
When attempting to hit a baseball traveling 90 mph or faster, every fraction of a second matters. That’s why Baseball Vision Program’s hitting guru Chris McKnight emphasizes the process of seeing the ball as the pitcher delivers it and tracking it on its way to the strike zone—the earlier a player’s eyes “pick up” the ball, the more time he or she has to react. By training players’ eyes and the reactions of their hands to be in unison, Chris gives them a valuable tool not just at the plate, but in the field. A veteran coach with experience as a manager in the NCAA and as a scout, Chris has developed successful training methods with more than 3,000 students.
Road Ranger Stadium entertains fans and families as the Rockford RiverHawks bat, bunt, and steal bases in Frontier League play. Cheering from the intimate vantage point of home-plate box seats, fans can chew on hot dogs while admiring the home-run swing of 2004 Frontier League MVP Rich Austin and analyze the curveballs of former Kansas City Royal Mike Wood. Family fun and entertainment extends beyond the third out of every inning with promotional showcases, such as comedic sumo wrestling, the Eye-Ball race, and the long-lived tradition of the seventh-inning stretch-the-truth-about-how-many-hot-dogs-you-ate.