No matter their age or skill level, local baseball and softball players soon will be able to train and play regardless of the weather conditions, thanks to a new 23,000-square-foot indoor facility.
The large building under construction west of St. Clairsville can clearly be seen from Interstate 70 and National Road. It will be known as the GSP Hall of Fame Batting Cages and Training Center.
Owner Jerry Pintarich said the center should open by June "at the latest." Concrete and electrical wiring still need to be finished, but he believes these projects will be complete in time for the scheduled opening.
Photo by Casey Junkins
The GSP Hall of Fame Batting Cages and Training Center is almost complete west of St. Clairsville. Owner Jerry Pintarich said the indoor facility will include everything baseball and softball players need to improve their skills.
"Our baseball and softball players in this area have been at a disadvantage. This facility will let them play and practice year-round," said Pintarich, who is opening the center with his wife, Sheila. The Bridgeport High School graduate said his indoor center will include everything baseball and softball players need to improve their skills.
"This facility is for everybody," he said. "This has been a dream of mine. We love the Ohio Valley and wanted to give something like this back."
Pintarich said the center will contain a variety of pitching machines that feature different speeds, collapsible batting and pitching tunnels and a variety of batting cages, including one that is handicap accessible.
Hands-on pitching, batting and fielding instruction will also be offered.
There will be a 10,000-square-foot indoor turf playing field.
Pintarich said boys up to age 14 and girls up to age 18 should be able to play full indoor games in the winter on the playing surface.
"Anybody can use this center," he said. "Any child who wants to learn the game is going to get great training and instruction. Any baseball or softball player can use our machines to help improve their game."
Announcing the center's location, Pintarich said, will be a large LED sign that he said will be used to honor local athletes for their accomplishments. Though he said there will not be a full-fledged concession stand, the center will have a health-conscious smoothie bar, along with some vending machines.
As for how much it will cost individuals or teams to use the center - as well as the hours and days of operation - Pintarich said these matters are still in the works, but noted, "We are going to make sure we price it so that everyone can use the facility."
Pintarich said there is "a huge amount of demand for a facility like this" in the Upper Ohio Valley.
"We have been contacted by people from Steubenville who are interested in the center, as well as people from the Canton and Akron areas," he said. "We have also been approached by a soccer league about using our turf. The turf will be strong enough to stand up while they use it."
"We want everybody here - whether you are a team or an individual - to feel like this is your facility," Pintarich added. "We will work to make you feel comfortable."