Before the team joined the independent American Association in 2005, the St. Paul Saints dominated play, amassing four championships over 12 seasons. As the cr?che of players faces off against its Midwestern rivals, it hopes to one day send envoys to play in the major leagues?a feat already achieved by 15 Saints alumni. As one of the same three owners who've overseen the team since its 1993 founding, actor Bill Murray lends the team a touch of Hollywood glamour, trumping other teams' attempts to replace their bases with Walk of Fame stars.
Home games unfold under the towering lights of Midway Stadium, an outdoor ballpark stocked with several concession stands, a bar, and family-friendly caf?s and ice cream shacks. Along with plush porcine mascot Mudonna, a regular cast of entertainers delights crowds as the organist controls the weather with popular songs.
Triple Crown Indoor Batting Cages' full-length batting cages combine to form a stomping ground for baseball and softball sluggers in training. With Triple Crown's open-area hitting facilities, players can fine-tune their swings and track hits off the bat to determine whether each hit is a dinker or an upper-decker. Players can enjoy the heckle-free training regimens of automatic-pitching machines, which can be set to to hurl either softballs or baseballs to prepare bat-wielders for spontaneous showdowns with rogue oranges.
Ballplayers of all stripes can train year-round at Extra Innings. The 20,500-square-foot indoor facility is equipped six multi-purpose tunnels, three pitching tunnels, and three coin-operated batting cages that can sling baseballs and softballs between 40?80 mph. Hitters can also perfect their swings in the training area, and can enlist extra help from one of Extra Innings' seasoned instructors. During hitting leagues, participants compete to see who can hit a can of corn highest without splattering it over the 24-foot ceilings.
Trainers at Mash Performance treat all of their students as individuals, even in small-group training sessions. They incorporate strength training, agility exercises, core work, and conditioning into a single workout. Both functional training and quick spurts of energy play a role in sculpting physiques at classes such as adult metabolic training and speed development. Thanks to a partnership with The Minnesota Mash Baseball Club, they also offer instruction in fielding and hitting.