Opening Day Near For Batting Cages At Sixth And Girard


Photo: Andrew Baxter

Photo: Andrew Baxter

Baseball people will tell you that the key to becoming an effective hitter is repetition. You have to see and swing at a lot of pitches so the bat will feel lighter and your eyes sharper. But where to do it? If you’re a kid–or a big kid–growing up in Philly, you have to drive to the suburbs to find a batting cage–or play half ball in the alley until your arms fall off.

But just for a few more days. David Gavigan, the baseball lover and entrepreneur behind Everybody Hits, a batting cage presently being completed in a storied building at Sixth and Girard on the edge of the Northern Liberties, says his $100,000 facility will be open by early to mid April. For our first story on this project, click HERE.

“I just want to get open and get people in the batting cages,” says Gavigan, 26, who developed the business plan for Everybody Hits three years ago after a stint in Americorps. He saved up cash and has been working full time to retrofit the building–with its rather storied past as public market and movie house (among other uses)–for three batting cages, each for either baseball or softball. Each cage is capable of delivering pitches at four speeds (for softball: slow pitch, 40, 50, and 60 miles per hour and for baseball: 40, 50, 60, and 70 miles per hour). A round of pitches will cost $2.25 or five rounds for $10. Teams can rent the facility by the hour and individuals will be able to join up as members; in the off-season, Gavigan will offer hitting clinics and coaching, and of course you’ll be able to rent the place for parties.

Photo: Peter Woodall

Photo: Peter Woodall

Gavigan is capitalizing on the Phillies-fed resurgence of baseball here. “It seems like a lot of people are playing baseball right now in Philly,” he says. But more so, he hopes the facility will become a kind of neighborhood gathering spot, as it has been in the past. The layers of time, he says, have been preserved in the renovation. “I’d like to highlight the history,” he says, “it really interests me.”

Photo: Andrew Baxter

Photo: Andrew Baxter

In that case, you’ll be swinging for the “oysters” sign behind the screen.

About the author

Nathaniel Popkin is co-editor of the Hidden City Daily and author of three books of non-fiction, including the forthcoming Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City (Temple Press) and a novel, Lion and Leopard (The Head and the Hand Press). He is the senior writer of the film documentary "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment."


  1. Besides the obvious for sports enthusiasts who want to practice, etc., this venue could be a great place to stage a different kind of “interactive” event when gathering with friends, family or business-colleagues! Best of luck of Gavigan!

  2. OK, I won’t move to Paris.

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Monument Lab Artist Stands Up For The City's Lost Stoops

Monument Lab Artist Stands Up For The City’s Lost Stoops

August 17, 2017  |  Vantage

Artist Kaitlin Pomerantz is on a mission to save Philadelphia's castaway stoops. Her project for this year's Monument Lab will memorialize the city's proverbial outdoor living room with a collection of salvaged stoops inside Washington Square Park. Contributor Star Herr-Cardillo has the story > more

In The Aftermath Of Charlottesville, Counting On The Catto Memorial

In The Aftermath Of Charlottesville, Counting On The Catto Memorial

August 15, 2017  |  Soapbox

As Southern cities erupt in protest and race-fueled violence over the removal of Confederate memorials, historian Amy Cohen looks at Philadelphia's lack of diversity in public monuments > more


In “Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture,” The City Is A Muse

August 11, 2017  |  Buzz

Groundbreaking exhibit of the work of Louis Kahn brings his ideas to life, says Nathaniel Popkin > more

Convention Center Survivor A Symbol Of Philly's Faded Industries

Convention Center Survivor A Symbol Of Philly’s Faded Industries

August 10, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

The Shadow takes us for a spin to the corner of Race and Camac Streets where the city's commercial sectors have shifted gears for over a century > more

A Sneak Peek At <em>Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies</em>

A Sneak Peek At Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies

August 8, 2017  |  Buzz

Michael Bixler has this behind-the scenes look at Cai Guo-Qiang's interactive dreamscape, "Fireflies." The Chinese artist will debut his mobile art project on September 14 in celebration of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway's centennial > more

City Mobilizes Against Trash With Zero Waste Action Plan

City Mobilizes Against Trash With Zero Waste Action Plan

August 7, 2017  |  News

Can the City eliminate Philly's litter epidemic by 2030? Nic Esposito, director of the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet, says it can be done if government and residents work together. Michael Bixler catches up with the 'litter czar' to discuss an ambitious, municipal action plan to tackle the issue > more