Within the 5,000-square-foot Ballplayer’s Edge facility, baseball and softball players train to swing the bat faster, throw the ball harder, and play the game better. The facility’s crack team of coaches—led by Joel Burgos, hitting coach for Rutgers University-Newark—improve strength, agility, and instincts with training tools that include four adult-size batting cages and the ProBatter PX2 hitting simulator. The simulator immerses players in game-like situations, complete with virtual pitchers delivering strikes from either the windup or the stretch. Meanwhile, RightView Pro video analysis captures each home-run cut, shown bunt, and taunt lobbed at the computerized player, allowing for side-by-side comparison with major-league swings.
The Ballpark's 15,000-square-foot indoor baseball facility has been the training ground for regional all-star youth league players and state championship teams since 1999. A team of experienced coaches, led by three-time Star-Ledger Coach of the Year Tony Picaro, teaches fundamentals such as bunting, fielding, and signing autographs while wearing an oversize novelty foam finger. Private and group lessons hone skills after school, and multiday clinics immerse rookies and pros alike in the sport's finer points. Outside class hours, players practice at six public batting cages, a timed home-to-first track, and a pitching mound monitored by radar and off-duty traffic cops. The Ballpark is also a great place to host a birthday party, which include pizza or hot dogs, popcorn, drinks, papers goods, and a free batting cage token.
Gamers Baseball Academy busts summer’s monopoly on the game, giving athletes an indoor, year-round destination where they can learn the ins and outs of both baseball and softball from a crack staff of college coaches, professional athletes, and college players. The 10,000-square-foot facility nurtures players with its collection of hitting and pitching tunnels, batting cages, defense areas, and a changing room for molting mascots.
Gamers Baseball Academy can adapt to meet the training needs of each individual boy and girl or an entire squad. Athletes can then put their newfound skills to work on the academy’s own baseball and softball teams to recreate the live games’ speeds and intricacies no matter the month.
Boasting one of Staten Island’s only go-kart tracks, Staten Island Go-Karts launches drivers around exhilarating turns and down straightaways at speeds of up to 20 mph, while its mini golf course's soothing brook and scenic landscaping maintain more moderate adrenaline levels. Speed-demon duos can rocket around the track in one of the rubber burners, tearing through each five-minute race like the Flash riding Seabiscuit (a $6 value each). Each speedy steed features a sturdy shoulder harness, and the track's qualified operator can control all karts to ensure safety.
Rain delays and snow-outs are never an issue within Hudson Baseball Center, where instructors lead baseball and softball lessons atop the indoor facility's evergreen turf. Working in individual practice lanes or in group clinics, players focus on improving distinct aspects of their game, including hitting, pitching, and fielding. Regardless of the specialty involved, every lesson places particular emphasis on critical thinking and physical discipline, valuable skills for both playing baseball and wrestling other jury members to settle an impasse. Comprised of former high school, collegiate, and professional athletes, the faculty includes the likes of a Class-A pitcher for the Reds, a high-school All-American with 14 years of coaching experience, and a softball player who spent 13 years with the Hoboken Shockers' traveling team.