Babe Ruth was nicknamed "The Colossus of Trout" because his skills on the field derived from summers spent fishing the old-fashioned way––with a baseball bat in shallow water. Earn an epithet of your own with today's Groupon: for $45, you get two 30-minute baseball or softball classes and 30 minutes of batting-cage use at Batters Box in Marana (a $92.50 value).
A Rawlings-sponsored baseball training facility, Batters Box helps bat- swingers hone their skills during small-group lessons and inside six indoor batting-cages. Seasoned coaches and pro players such as Arizona Heat star Autumn Champion pack each lesson with insider tips on pitching, swinging, and remembering all the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner." With an average class size of five to seven students, players of all levels get customized catching instruction. And as visitors practice, they can bond with the facility's trainers, learning where to watch Little League games and how to maintain eye contact with pitches without gluing googly eyes to the ball.
When they're not helping high-school sluggers gear up for games, Batters Box sponsors several local Little League teams. The staff also volunteers in the community and was recognized in 2010 with a service award from the Marana Chamber of Commerce, commending them for their work with local schools and recidivist base stealers.
Three baseball cages and three softball cages housed in the indoor Batters Box facility hurl their best stuff into the strike zone so that baseball players can polish their cuts. Various settings enable all levels to improve, serving slower pitches to younger and less-experienced players and transforming into hecklers so experienced players can master their game faces. Batter’s Box also employs a couple of decorated instructors in Jerry Hairston Sr., a 14-year major leaguer and father to two current pros, and Autumn Champion, a former standout at the University of Arizona and current record holder for the fourth-highest softball batting average in the nation.