Zuleta’s Indoor Batting Cages are owned and operated by Julio Zuleta, a veteran ballplayer who boasts a 17-year career in not only the Minor and Major Leagues, but also in Nippon Professional Baseball and the World Baseball Classic. Seventy feet of astroturf separate future sluggers from their robotic pitchers in four cages delineated by black netting that keeps patrons safe from stray balls and the occasional giant monster mosquito. Bring your own bat (wooden, aluminum, or pygmy round-eared) or rent an aluminum bat for $1. Practice like the pros on the same type of machines most MLB players use to warm-up during spring training. Controllable pitching speeds from 25 to 85 mph are available to suit any ability level and can take both baseballs and softballs.
The stitching that unites the iconic "N" and "Y" on each Yankees cap also threads together a legacy that stretches back more than a century. Cemented by 27 World Series titles, 40 American League pennants, and a total of 43 alumni in the Baseball Hall of Fame, that legacy has been built on winning, resulting in, among other legends, a batting lineup forever nicknamed "Murderer's Row" and a regular Joe transformed into a joltin' hero.
From 1923 to 2008, the team called the original Yankee Stadium—the "House That Ruth Built"—home, making it a daunting task indeed to move 85 years of tradition into a new park without erasing the tracks of history or disturbing the scoreboard's mysterious hieroglyphics. Yet today, the Bronx breezes waft the scent of polyester pinstripes up to the 50,287 blue seats peppering a new facility—christened, appropriately enough, with a world championship in 2009. Even with its up-to-date amenities, including a mammoth 101-foot-wide LED screen towering above center field, the current Yankee Stadium stands as a reminder of the past—especially in Monument Park, where fans can soak up the club's storied saga up until 45 minutes prior to each game.
Safari Mini Golf & Games curates friendly competition with more than two acres of tropical parkland that encompasses a 36-hole miniature golf course and four batting cages. Vibrant palms, streams, and waterfalls line the miniature golf course, creating a safari-like habitat for life-size statues of elephants, monkeys, and other exotic creatures along the way. The piercing timbre of sharp line-drives resonates from four batting cages, where cyborg pitchers contemplate charging the plate as they paint the strike zone with high-arcing softballs and baseballs hurled at speeds between 35 and 60 mph. Competitive appetites can find relief in the arcade, where guests seek out goals on the foosball pitch, square off in the digital realm of video games, or display their dominion over sugar by vanquishing scoops of Blue Bell ice cream.
• June 26 vs. Tampa Yankees (5:05 p.m.) • July 8 vs. Fort Myers Miracle (7:05 p.m.) • July 30 vs. Bradenton Marauders (7:05 p.m.) • August 5 vs. Dunedin Blue Jays (7:05 p.m.) • August 14 vs. Lakeland Flying Tigers (5:05 p.m.) • August 20 vs. Tampa Yankees (7:05 p.m.)
Injuries from combat are often more visible than the emotional trauma of war, yet those traumas can be just as deadly. Fortunately, though days may be dark, the compassionate professionals at Hope4Heroes spend their days lighting the beacons that line the path toward mental health. The non-profit organization actively supports military personnel suffering from depression, PTSD, and suicidal thoughts through counseling programs and community outreach. Their most celebrated work comes though their rehabilitative sports programs. The idea behind these programs is simple: the teamwork, camaraderie, and physical activity of sports helps to directly tackle the major symptoms and triggers of depression. In addition to building pride in their on-field performance, players also have the opportunity to play alongside retired MLB and NFL greats during events such baseball tournaments and golf tours. These matches aren't just fun, though; through them, Hope4Heroes also joins forces with local charities to raise funds for wounded vets and their families.
Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award?winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.