Philadelphia not only has one of the top teams in professional baseball, it’s also known for producing some of the top baseball players. These local stars likely honed their skills right here in Philly’s batting cages, and aspiring little league stars or anyone simply looking to improve his or her swing will find top-flight instruction and batting cage rentals at these five Philadelphia-area venues.
600 Gateway Blvd.
Westville, NJ 08093
Price: $1.75 for 20 pitches/$30 for a half-hour batting cage rental
Hours: Mon – 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Tues to Fri – 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun – 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
You’ll find this home to indoor batting cages just minutes from the Walt Whitman Bridge. It features astroturf tunnel bridges and pitching machines on a simulated pitcher’s mound. Batting cages at Bat-A-Rama use machines manufactured by Jugs Pro Range with speeds of up to 70 mph. The venue also offers private hitting instruction and clinics throughout the year for both baseball and softball players. During the summer, Bat-A-Rama also offers a baseball and softball camp for skill development in hitting, playing the field and sportsmanship.
Grand Slam USA
11 E. Lancaster Ave.
Price: $2 for 18 pitches/$60 per hour of batting cage rental
Hours: Mon to Fri – 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat and Sun – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Located on the Main Line, Grand Slam features more than 30,000 square feet of sports activities, including five batting cages. It offers group packages on all activities and team rentals for rainy-day batting practice by the hour. Grand Slam also boasts a Pro Shop with top-of-the-line baseball and softball bats including Louisville, Easton and DeMarini. Grand Slam hosts summer camps as well, so be sure to check the schedule and get the family signed up.
The Hit Doctor
6 Bicentennial Court
Erial, NJ 08081
Price: $75 per hour of batting cage rental
Hours: Mon to Fri – 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat and Sun – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Hit Doctor offers batting cage tunnel rentals as well as instruction in the cages by appointment. It got its name from coach and founder Joe Barth, whose nickname is, appropriately, “The Hit Doctor.” Staff prides itself on individualized instruction from coaches who also serve as professional baseball players. Hit Doctor also offers a baseball and softball academy that offers instruction far beyond techniques offered in ordinary summer camps. Make an appointment for a batting cage rental with live catchers and pitchers. Camps are offered all year round.
All Star Baseball Academy
650 S. Parkway Blvd.
Broomall, PA 19008
Price: $2 for 20 balls
Hours: Mon to Fri – 2:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat and Sun – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All Star Baseball Academy actually has locations around the Delaware Valley including West Chester, Downingtown and Warminster and over the bridge in Cherry Hill in addition to in Broomall. It offers softball and baseball batting cage rental as well as instruction for ages 5 through 18. Its website displays the names of more than 300 alumni who have gone on to play in college or have been drafted by professional teams. The All Star Baseball Academy offers private instruction in pitching, hitting and fielding as well as batting cage rentals. Its camps include winter, summer and personalized development from college coaches. It also offers indoor baseball and softball tournaments.
319 Westtown Rd.
West Chester, PA 19382
Price: $249 activation/$99 per month for six-month membership
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri – 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat and Sun – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The goal at Game Ready! is to provide developing hitters with a live-at-bat experience. The place uses pitching machine technology that replicates a real batting experience, complete with changes in pitch tempo and curves. A life-sized pitcher and video screen delivers the pitches. Game Ready! promises boys and girls a full season of pitches in just a week of its training program. See its website for a complete list of professional teams and college programs that utilize the Game Ready! training system.
Related: Gift Guide for the Philly Sports Fan
Darren Hunter is an author, lecturer, and freelancer covering travel and outdoors around Philadelphia. His third book, The Exile Project, was set in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park at Valley Green. His work can be found at Examiner.com.