The Vancouver Canadians are the only affiliated minor-league team in Canada. As a Triple-A team in the Pacific Coast League between 1978 and 1999, they claimed three championships as well as a Triple-A World Series. In 2011, the Canadians became the Toronto Blue Jays? short-season class-A affiliate, taking home the Northwest League?s championship title that year, beginning a streak of three consecutive titles. The team plays its home games at Nat Bailey Stadium, which was built in 1951, a storied time in baseball when a hot dog cost a nickel and a tie was settled with a ten-step duel.
The crack of bats rings out into the air at Rage Cage Training Complex’s eight outdoor batting cages, part of a sprawling facility where players hone their baseball and softball skills. The cages can whip baseballs at slow, medium, and fast speeds as well as slow-pitch softball throws, and the 4,200-square-foot indoor facility touts a retail shop and space for lessons. During the offseason, professional athletes host clinics that help young players improve their mechanics and give rookie mascots a chance to practice dodging foul balls.
Baseball players can't skimp on their hitting, pitching, and catching skills if they want to dominate the game—a fact that the instructors at Northshore Sports Complex know well. In 1982, Cody Webster earned the title of MVP while playing for the Kirkland Nationals All-Star Team—the first US team to win the Little League World Series. He continued to play throughout high school and college, and went on to coach for Pepsi Baseball. His cohort, Craig Bishop draws on 20 years of coaching experience at high schools and colleges. Together, the duo shares the task of teaching students the fundamentals of the game inside batting and pitching cages.
Surrounded by a chain-link fence and divided by safety nets, their astro-turfed cages shelter machines that launch baseballs and softballs straight down the plate. These projectiles can reach speeds up to 85mph, which would be really scary if the baseballs weren't tranquilized beforehand. Sans the machines, pairs can take to the cages to hone their pitching and catching abilities.
The Seattle Mariners have represented Washington since 1977. And since 1999, the team has dazzled hometown crowds at Safeco Field. The park boasts an elaborate scoreboard system that features the largest video screen in baseball. A convertible rooftop covers the ballpark without closing it off, preserving an open-air environment that allows fans to bask in fresh Seattle breezes.
Staff Size: 11?25 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Brands Used: Easton
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Batting cages and retail area
Recommended Age Group: All ages
Pro Tip: [Wear] tennis shoes only on turf.
It can be hard to know exactly what areas you need to improve upon as an athlete, which is why facilities such as Sammamish Baseball Academy exist. Players here can train with everyone from former college and minor-league players to those who have played in the majors, including Ian Gac. These trainers use RightView Pro video-analysis software to break down a young player's mechanics and compare them to those of current major leaguers, as well as teach them the fundamentals, including calligraphy for future autographs.
Young players practice on the 11,500-square-foot facility's clay bullpen mound with three pitching rubbers, in its full-size weight room, and in its four batting cages, which are retractable and open up to help players work on their defensive skills. Two of the cages are equipped with an ATEC pitching machine, which hurls balls and "hey batter batter" chants so players will be prepared for future games. While players train, parents can hang out in a lounge equipped with free WiFi and TV.