For the last two years, Troy and Pike County residents have been unable to utilize the batting cages at the Troy Sportsplex.
Soon, thanks to the help of two Troy University professors, residents will be able to take all the swings they’d like free of charge.
The Baseball Tomorrow Fund recently awarded the City of Troy a $39,300 grant to fund the renovation of the batting cages at the Troy Sportsplex. The grant request was written and arranged by TROY professors Dr. Lynsey Madison and Dr. Christina Martin, faculty members in the School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management.
“Two years ago, the batting cages closed due to the netting being beyond repair, and it was cost prohibitive to bring everything back up to speed,” said Dan Smith, director of the Troy Parks and Recreation Department. “However, Dr. Martin and Dr. Madison came to me with the idea of applying for a grant through Baseball Tomorrow. We absolutely could not have done it without their hard work in writing this grant.”
The cages opened in 1991 and were coin-operated until they fell into a state of disrepair in recent years.
“The number of people involved in baseball in this area is actually pretty high,” Madison said. “One of the big benefits of this project will be having a place for the youth in Troy and Pike County, as well as the surrounding counties, to work on their baseball and softball skills. It’s also a fun, safe place for kids to play, and it gives them something to do from elementary to high school and into college.”
Smith said his department has received numerous requests from parents and grandparents to reopen the batting cages. And now, once the cages reopen, there will be no need to find loose change.
“It will be a tremendous benefit as there are many parents and grandparents that are unable to throw live batting practice to their children or grandchildren,” he said. “What is wonderful about this project is it will be free of charge to everyone.”
Smith said it’s another example of the relationship between the University and the city.
“It is very unique, very positive, very strong and very much appreciated,” he said. “Here at Troy Parks and Recreation, I as the director know that we are blessed that 90 percent of our part-time workforce comes from Troy University students, we also have a large number of faculty and staff that utilize our recreation center, and we have a wonderful working relationship with many departments as we share facilities and provide support in many ways for each other.”