FAIRFIELD — Sounds of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball filled a narrow storefront along Texas Street on a recent day.
Having youths take batting practice is definitely off-limits inside most downtown buildings, where businesses range from restaurants to clothing stores. The exception is Blue Print Baseball.
Jack Montgomery founded the business in part because of his experiences with his son, who plays baseball for Justin Siena High School in Napa. Montgomery had to drive to such places as Sacramento to find an indoor batting cage since a facility in Vacaville closed.
He decided to open his own indoor batting cages in Fairfield, the city where he lives. He chose Texas Street in part because he knows the owner.
Although he acknowledged that many indoor batting cages are in warehouses, he doesn’t think baseball inside a downtown storefront is as incongruous as it might at first seem. Some nearby buildings are used for martial arts training, he said.
“It’s basically the same concept,” Montgomery said.
Also, a parent can drop a child off at Blue Print Baseball for training and then shop at nearby businesses while they wait, he said.
Two batting cages are inside the building, which has blue interior walls and a turf-like green carpet. The cages are in a row and take up most of the room’s width, with black netting to stop the balls that get hit.
Individuals and teams can use the batting cages to practice hitting either baseballs and softballs. Instructors include former players from local high schools. Blue Print Baseball also offers travel ball, with youths able to try out for teams.
“Our goal is to develop kids year-round and have a baseball academy where we’re able to work on batting, pitching, all the fundamentals of baseball,” Montgomery said.
That means getting outside of the building. Blue Print Baseball does that, but Montgomery is still maneuvering the local world of baseball field rentals. The baseball academy is still taking shape.
“Now I have this piece,” Montgomery said as he sat near the batting cages. “The next piece is getting a field for Blue Print Baseball to call home.”
Blue Print Baseball is located at 821 B Texas St. near the downtown arch proclaiming Fairfield as the Solano County seat. It is open from 4 to 9 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and by appointment Sundays. Please go to http://www.blueprintbaseball.com or call 419-4885 for more information.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.