The Riversharks, a member of the Liberty Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, are all set to hit, pitch, and run around the bases while waving their arms and yelling about the big leagues. Watch them face off against the Long Island Ducks, a team that challenges the Mets' and Yankees' monopoly on New York diamond play. Field-level seating, which wraps the infield closely from dugout to dugout, offers panoramic, foul-pole to foul-pole views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and the amber Philadelphia skyline, making home runs feel like dreams and snacks taste like summer.
The cracks of baseball bats, the slaps of softballs meeting mitts, and the advice of an experienced team of instructors resound within Thunder Stix Baseball & Softball Academy's cavernous 11,000-square-foot facility. Baseball and softball players alike hone their cuts inside eight pitching machines that can be adjusted from 40 miles per hour to 70 miles per hour, and brush up on their fielding technique inside four netted astroturf tunnels. Robert Banner—the academy's owner and the head softball coach at Alexis I. DuPont High School—and his instructors use the well-appointed digs to help players of all abilities develop their skills in every facet of the game, including batting, fielding, base running, and agility.
There's room for all types of workouts in Nexxt Level Sports' 22,000-square-foot, climate-controlled facility. Basketball players can hone their technique on two NBA-length hardwood courts, and baseball players can perfect their swings in 70-foot batting cages instead of going to an orchard and waiting for regulation-sized apples to fall. In group-training classes, meanwhile, gym patrons can focus on strength or build endurance with varied circuit workouts, including strength and resistance training. For a more private workout, personal trainers also lead one-on-one sessions, tailoring their exercises to the clients' fitness goals.
As the Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals—and as four-time Carolina League champions—the Blue Rocks represent one of the most successful traditions in all of Minor League Baseball. Continuing to build upon a franchise history that stretches back to the 1940s, Wilmington has served as a launching pad for more than 100 big leaguers since 1993. As the squad of rising stars kicks up dust with diving stops and gritty slides, the 7-foot mascot Rocky Bluewinkle roams through the seats passing out fist bumps and lecturing youngsters on the pros and cons of having antlers.
Run or Dye is making race running a little more colorful, one major city at a time. This 5K is divided up into four separate courses of varying lengths, each designated by a separate color––which also reflects the color of safe, eco-friendly powered dye the participants get splashed with. At the end of the race, they'll cross into the aptly-named Dye Zone—a polychromatic free-for-all, where fluorescent color is thrown freely from all sides, allowing runners to splash their fellow runners or get colorful revenge on their friends, family members, and any cranky art-history teachers that happen to be walking by.
Unlike some races that rank runners by time, Run or Dye only measures success in color and fun. While the safe-to-eat dyes should wash out of clothing, runners are encouraged to wear things they don't mind getting dirty, preferably in white, grey, or another neutral color to allow give the dyes maximum visibility.
Sluggersville’s 22,000 square-foot facility abounds with tunnels, cages, and mounds where kids and adults can hone their baseball fundamentals without ruining the yard or busting a window. Prospecting sluggers can grab a bat and swing for the fences while an automatic pitching machine casts baseballs or softballs their way. Pitchers can assume their stance on the Pro Style pitching mound and register fastballs, curveballs, and sliders to a willing catcher or Venus flytrap. Although Sluggersville is a practice facility, students can put their skills to the test as well; the facility hosts league play and camps for kids and teens.