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-founder of the Hidden City Daily and author of three books of non-fiction, including Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City (with Peter Woodall and Joseph E.B. Elliott) and two novels, Everything is Borrowed and Lion and Leopard. He is co-editor of Who Will Speak for America, an anthology forthcoming in June 2018, and the senior writer of the film documentary "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment."



2 Comments


  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
PA Ballet Swings Wrecking Ball At North Broad Landmark

PA Ballet Swings Wrecking Ball At North Broad Landmark

May 21, 2018  |  News

A 107-year-old terra cotta treasure on Automobile Row will be demolished for a vacant lot. Michael Bixler has the story > more

Kensington Workshop Keeps Neighborhood Clocking In

Kensington Workshop Keeps Neighborhood Clocking In

May 16, 2018  |  Last Light

Inside a 124-year-old mill in Kensington, World Manufacturing Inc. is buzzing with work orders. Theresa Stigale puts us on the production line with this photo essay > more

Take Me Up To the Ball Game! Rediscovering The Bleacher Houses Of North Philly

Take Me Up To the Ball Game! Rediscovering The Bleacher Houses Of North Philly

May 15, 2018  |  Vantage

Dave Coyne gives us a rooftop view of old Shibe Park and the backstory behind Swampoodle's little-known "bleacher houses" > more

On Motherhood & The Circle Of Life At City Hall

On Motherhood & The Circle Of Life At City Hall

May 11, 2018  |  Soapbox

For Mother's Day, Stacey Meadows takes us inside the Register of Wills office at City Hall with this moving personal essay > more

Neighbors Vote

Neighbors Vote “No” On Christian Street Church Proposal

May 9, 2018  |  News

A new design proposal to demolish and develop the site of Christian Street Baptist Church is met with unanimous disapproval from neighbors. Starr Herr-Cardillo has the story > more

The Urban Conversation Of Row House Window Displays

The Urban Conversation Of Row House Window Displays

May 8, 2018  |  Vantage

Mabel Rosenheck peeks inside the front window to examine Philly's tradition of row house expression > more