Baseball and softball players looking to hone their pitching and batting skills will soon have an opportunity to do so in a professional ballpark.
The York YMCA, which runs the Hoffman Baseball/Softball Academy, has partnered with the York Revolution to move the program to Sovereign Bank Stadium.
The decade-old academy offers skill-development equipment and professional trainers year-round to kids and adults, who currently pay to use the YMCA's indoor facility at 301 W. Market St., said Larry Richardson, the YMCA's president and CEO.
This fall, the program will relocate to the stadium, where batting cages near right field are undergoing extensive renovations.
The Revolution is constructing permanent, insulated walls that will separate the batting-cage area from the field and adjacent grounds-keeping equipment area.
Most of the year, that space goes unused by the Revolution, said Eric Menzer, the team's president and general manager.
New name: Rather than waste the resource, Menzer said it makes sense to open it to the YMCA's academy, which would have access to it year-round. The facility upgrades are also in line with the Revolution's continuous goal of attracting the best players, he said.
"We are always in a battle to get the best players to come play in York," Menzer said.
Naturally, the academy's participants will also get to occasionally rub elbows with those players.
"You can't help but to have some synergy between the two populations," Richardson said.
The program will be renamed the YMCA York Revolution Baseball & Softball Academy.
The YMCA has not yet decided what to do with the program's current facility, which previously served as a hub for weightlifting and racquetball, Richardson said.
In the new space at the stadium, "everything's going to be brand new," Richardson said.
-- Erin James may also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.