For baseball lovers who hate training outdoors in winter, Illinois Baseball Academy will soon be offering a new option.
The new indoor training facility, The Yard, 164 Northfield Rd., Northfield, is outfitted with hitting cages, a pitching tunnel and an open area for fielding work.
“The batting cages allow us to give four lessons at any one time,” said Chris Beacome, president of Illinois Baseball Academy. “We are able to move [our cages] and our cables. One space can look different if we move a cage off to a side.”
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Slated to start programs on Nov. 5, the training center will be able to accommodate up to 18 players per hour, Beacome said.
“We opened the facility in Northfield mainly to serve New Trier communities that have youth baseball programs,” Beacome said. “Northfield is really the only area that provides warehouse space for us to create this sort of a facility. There was no place in Winnetka or Wilmette that really fit this bill for the space we needed.”
The Yard is designed to be an extension of Illinois Baseball Academy’s outdoor programs and will be partnering with North Shore baseball organizations such as Glencoe Baseball Association, Kenilworth-Winnetka Baseball Association, Wilmette Baseball Association and New Trier Trevian Pony Baseball.
“This facility is here because the local baseball organizations encouraged us,” Beacome said.
Sid Tepps, president of Wilmette Baseball Association, says the group has been looking for opportunities to enhance its baseball programs and improve the experience for players, especially when community interest in advanced baseball instruction has increased.
“In response to this need, we are pleased to announce that the Wilmette Baseball Association has joined forces with Illinois Baseball Academy and is supporting, along with a few other North Shore communities, this new indoor facility, The Yard,” Tepps said in a release.
The 5,000-square-feet indoor training facility aims to provide year-round instruction and personalized development for youth participants ranging from first grade through high school, Beacome said.
The former head coach of the New Trier High School's baseball team says he is most excited that there will be a place for baseball fans to get “terrific instruction and be part of something community based.”
The Yard at 164 Northfield Rd., Northfield, plans to open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.