YMCA and York Revolution join forces for better instructional baseball programs in York County
The “Diamond Academy” is being built inside Santander Stadium
A partnership between the premier human services organization in York - the YMCA of York County - and the premier baseball organization in York - The York Revolution - has been formed; aimed at offering quality, affordable baseball and softball training programs to youth and teams in York County. This partnership will yield the “Diamond Academy,” to be housed at Santander Stadium in York City beginning in the fall of 2013, which will replace the existing YMCA Hoffman Baseball/Softball Academy located on the YMCA’s downtown York campus. The YMCA and the Revolution already partner to offer summer baseball camps, which will be folded into the expanded partnership.
The new facility will result from extensive renovations to the York Revolution’s existing batting cages, located under the picnic deck in right field. New permanent, insulated walls will separate the area from the field and adjacent grounds-keeping equipment area. The facility will be heated and new lighting added to turn it into winterized, indoor space. The WellSpan Clubhouse - the Revolution’s home clubhouse - will serve as an entry and waiting lounge for parents.
The YMCA’s existing Hoffman Baseball/Softball Academy located on West Market St. is an outstanding indoor facility with a staff of first-rate instructors. The staff there has either professional or college playing experience, or high school coaching experience.
“Most importantly,” says Diamond Academy Director Doug Markel, “they are all skilled at instructing youth and teens at their individual skill levels.” The Hoffman Baseball/Softball Academy is a year-round facility that offers skill enhancement opportunities for all phases of the game, primarily for ages eight and up. Our systematic teaching strategy includes the physical, mechanical and mental approach to successful play. “We emphasize practice, drills and focus on preparation for each aspect of the game,” Markel added.
The Academy includes: a pitching/tee work tunnel, two full-length cages with an “Iron Mike” baseball pitching machine and a “Pro-Batter” baseball pitching machine, the bullpens and outfield. Other equipment available to be used in the cages includes: pitching mounds, L-screens, tees and more. Instruction is also made available to leagues and teams year round. The relocated Diamond Academy will include all of those features, plus access to bullpen pitching mounds and areas for outfield drills and long-toss in favorable weather.
“We have a 10 year history of offering high-quality, focused baseball and softball instruction,” says Markel. “This partnership allows the YMCA to further develop the program.”
From the York Revolution’s perspective, the new facility is an ideal use of space that otherwise sits empty in the winter months, the prime time for such indoor training facilities.
“This is a win-win for us,” said Revolution President & General Manager Eric Menzer. “We build our relationship with a great community organization, we share our facilities with the most committed baseball players in York County, and we improve the facilities we can offer our players during the season.”
The partnership makes sense: combining the experience and expertise of the YMCA and the York Revolution will provide York County youth with access to the benefits of a stable, established program housed in a newly renovated facility with outdoor instructional capabilities.