Before baseball, there was mace-maul, a medieval sport in which players wore chainmail uniforms, no-hitters were a bad thing, and each team’s disabled list was much, much longer. Support a more civilized sporting event with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get five large buckets of batting-cage balls at Next Level Baseball (a $40 value).
Founded in 2004 by professional baseball scouts, Next Level Baseball helps ball players of all ages and skill levels hone their swing mechanics and form without the pressures of game day. In the indoor facility’s four full-length batting cages outfitted with dirt pitching mounds, instructors with professional or collegiate home-run-hitting experience oversee players swinging at fastballs, curve balls, or notoriously slippery matzo balls. Parents watch their progeny shine on closed-circuit lobby televisions, or watch the action in a public cage available on a first-come, first-served basis, which houses an automated pitching machine. After a satisfying batting session, players can peruse the venue’s alternate entertainment, racking up points in the arcade game room or browsing hats for their pet mullet in the sporting-goods shop.
Next Level Baseball
Founded in 2004 by a pair of Brewers scouts and the CEO of Titus Sports Academy, the brains behind Next Level Baseball staff their indoor facility—a one-stop shop with four full-length batting cages and dirt pitching mound—with skilled instructors from the professional and collegiate baseball circuits. With private coaching and group clinics in all areas, from pitching and hitting to spotting angels in the outfield, Next Level’s instructors shepherd beginning players down the road to competitive play at intermediate and professional levels. The pro shop’s selection of high-end gear from ROGO and Rawlings matches each player’s equipment to their burgeoning skill set, which they can flaunt after lessons by nimbly pitching quarters into the arcade’s blinking battalion of games.