At Baseball USA, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, baseball isn't just a game; it's also a way to give back and teach kids about teamwork and discipline. So it's a good thing the center's more than 12 instructors are so thorough, covering everything from base running to outfield defense at their manicured 35-acre complex, which includes a 40,000-square-foot indoor facility and 16 batting tunnels. This comprehensive preparation pays off when players take to one of the center's 11 fields, each of which is available for rental by teams or individuals for practice or as part of a tournament. Visitors can also hit up the pro shop or practice on their own by stepping into the batting cages, where they refine their swings by smacking the baseballs and softballs machines fire at them.
The 2004 MLB All-Star Game. The longest baseball game in postseason history. Craig Biggio’s 3,000th hit. For a stadium that just opened in 2000, Minute Maid Park has already hosted its share of memory-making moments. Astros fans pack the field’s 40,963 seats during baseball season. The Astros invite fans to take in full-field views from luxury boxes and terrace decks or track players from seats along the first and third baselines situated within 43 feet of the game's action. The stadium welcomes teams and performers from across the spectrum of sports and entertainment. Whether tracking the pitch during international soccer face-offs or jamming to tunes of artists including Madonna and Taylor Swift, visitors stay comfortable beneath a retractable roof designed to combat the unique climate conditions that Texas weather can present.
Designed with Texas’s railway history in mind, the park blends naturally into the classic red brick and glass looks of nearby Union Station. A full-sized vintage locomotive runs intermittent trips along 800 feet of track along the left-field wall, giving fans a glimpse of Wild West transportation and the lead character of next summer’s Cowboys Vs. Transformers.
Advantage Baseball provides players with 15,500 square feet of indoor training space and year-round conditioning opportunities. The facility boasts seven instructional cages, which can be shared by batters, pitchers, coaches, and coaches wearing mascot heads. In Advantage Baseball's four machine cages, balls zoom over home plate at speeds that range between 45 mph and 70 mph. The indoor training academy's staff, which includes former MLB players, also leads instruction for baseball, helping teams and individuals develop new strategies and improve their techniques.
D-BAT West Houston isolates individual baseball and softball skills to help players improve their performances on the diamond. Inside the 17,000-square-foot facility, players can practice fielding techniques on artificial turf and perfect their swings in batting cages for baseball and fast- and slow-pitch softball. A staff of former college players is also on hand to provide advice during lessons as well as camps and clinics, which are held throughout the year.
Extra Innings Humble’s sprawling 15,000-square-foot baseball enclave sharpens batting and pitching skills with a lineup of four coin-operated batting cages and five multi-use training tunnels. With each token, good for 15 pitches, batters can aim their ballpark batons skyward before smashing orbs hurling at various speeds into 25 elevated feet of ceilinged stratosphere. Players can adjust each pitch’s height at their leisure with Extra Innings’ ultramodern height-control system and can populate their swing session with a choice of baseballs, softballs, or Fabergé eggs.