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Jacob Drew pitches off a mound at the Rock Maple Baseball Academy on Tuesday afternoon. The academy recently opened up on Aga Drive. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

Baseball facility opens in Alex

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sports Alexandria, 56308
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

Local baseball and softball players now have a new space in Alexandria where they can work on their swing or pitching motion no matter how cold it gets this winter.

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Two local baseball dads opened the Rock Maple Baseball Academy last week inside what used to be the Fingerhut building on Aga Drive. Mitch Anderson and Dave Drew both have sons who play Alexandria youth baseball, and in their involvement with local teams they noticed a need for an indoor practice facility.

“A lot of people have been talking about this over the past decade or so,” Mitch Anderson said. “We thought it was time to just get it done and give area baseball and softball players a great place to work out.”

The facility is self-service and can be accessed by electronic key card. Currently the building can be accessed from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays.

The business owners have estimated that they are one of very few indoor baseball facilities available within a 100 mile radius.

“What we decided to do was build something that was professional quality, a membership only kind of thing where they could go and work on their game, hit on a tee and work on their pitching mechanics,” Anderson said.

Young baseball and softball players can use the facility to make improvements to their games before the spring season arrives. Anderson and Drew both have sons in 8th grade who play on a club team based in Minneapolis, and their new facility now gives them a location to work on their games outside of weekly practices.

“It is just like golf,” Drew said. “If you inherit bad habits, it is tough to get rid of.”

The facility has three lanes that are 70 feet long and can be used for hitting and pitching. The netting can also be opened up to form one big practice area. The entire fully-turfed surface is 2,800 square feet.

Anderson and Drew said their goal was to keep the price to use the facility as low as possible. A family membership at the Rock Maple Baseball Academy costs $175 for one year or $50 per month.

The Rock Maple Baseball Academy does not offer lessons to players directly but instead partners with instructors who use the facility. They already have a partnership with Caleb Curry, operator of the Northern Diamonds Academy, and are looking for some other potential options.

“We hope to partner with some more instructors and coaches in the region,” Anderson said.

The Rock Maple Baseball Academy is located at 1910 Aga Drive in Alexandria. More information can be found online at www.rockmaplebaseballacademy.com.

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