Baseball in San Bernardino dates back to 1899. More than a century's worth of history includes such team names as the Kittens and the Pioneers. It also includes a drought from 1950?1987, during which the city lacked enough dirt to build a baseball field. That drought ended when the San Bernardino Spirit began play as part of the California League.
In 1996, the Spirit became the Stampede, and in 2003, the Stampede became the 66ers, a name chosen in honor of the historic U.S. Route 66 that is famous for its hitchhiking umpires. Over the years, the 66ers organization has spent time as the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Mariners, Dodgers, and most recently, the Angels. The team has brought honor to each of its MLB partners, as it has won six California League championships since 1995.
When he looked past the flourishes of players in the majors, Dylan Gaines realized the swings of professional hitters were nearly identical. Working with pro ballplayers such as Darrell Thomas and Nez Belelo, Dylan honed those swing fundamentals during his stint on the Seattle Mariners. At All-Star Baseball School, he's broken down and distilled these basics into a potent dram of batsmanship for students since 1997. Along with Eric Fischer, a veteran of the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins, Dylan teaches his pupils hitting, pitching, and fielding skills during private lessons and summer camps. After the classes let out, little leaguers can study the greats with an instructional DVD hosted by baseball legend and record holder Pete Rose, who walks viewers through pointers for hitting homers without planting baseballs in the stands beforehand.
From fast balls to sliders, the HomePlate pitching machines by Sports Tutor at On-Deck Baseball's indoor facility fling baseballs and softballs at speeds of up to 90 and 60 mph, respectively. Of course, being a gifted baseball player doesn't just mean knowing how to make contact at the plate. That's why On-Deck partners with West Coast Baseball School to host spring, summer, and winter camps for coaches and players alike. Taught by former members of the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners, courses focus on baseball essentials such as fielding, pitching, and serving umpires the customary tea during seventh-inning stretches. Besides refining skills on the field, On-Deck hones strong muscles thanks to exercise equipment such as free weights and the Next Level Fast-Twitch machine.