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.
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.
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.
The cracks of baseball bats, the slaps of softballs meeting mitts, and the advice of an experienced team of instructors resound within Thunder Stix Baseball & Softball Academy's cavernous 11,000-square-foot facility. Baseball and softball players alike hone their cuts inside eight pitching machines that can be adjusted from 40 miles per hour to 70 miles per hour, and brush up on their fielding technique inside four netted astroturf tunnels. Robert Banner—the academy's owner and the head softball coach at Alexis I. DuPont High School—and his instructors use the well-appointed digs to help players of all abilities develop their skills in every facet of the game, including batting, fielding, base running, and agility.
• For $32, you get two Thunder hats, concessions, and two tickets to the game against the Erie SeaWolves on Monday, July 18, at 7:05 p.m. (up to a $78 total value). • For $32, you get two Thunder hats, concessions, and two tickets to the game against the Richmond Flying Squirrels on Thursday, July 28, at 7:05 p.m. (up to a $78 total value).
Whether it's sunny, rainy, or snowy, baseball is still being played at The Hitter's Edge. Within its indoor batting cages, balls fly at six individuals cages, each accented with its own home plate. And a number of arcade games keep batters entertained while they await their turn in the cages. The facility also houses the Pride of the Diamond training center, athletes alike can sharpen their throwing, fielding, and hitting skills.