A rainy, windy day no longer means automatically canceling baseball practice and packing away the gear, thanks to a new Enumclaw facility that allows for players to practice indoors.
Mechanically Sound Baseball (MSB) is housed in what was formally an indoor soccer center and serves all baseball and fastpitch players in the Plateau area, according to co-owner Tina Rosenthal.
Tina's husband Tony along with partner Bill McNally both serve on the board of the Mt. Rainier Baseball Association and through that experience heard from many involved in youth baseball that such an indoor facility was much needed in the Enumclaw area -- particularly given the wet weather. McNally's wife, Melanie, rounds out the quartet of owners.
"People were saying, 'We need an indoor place...we need an indoor place,'" Tony said. "Bill and I thought OK, we should start one. We've just got to do it. This [indoor facility] is really needed in a community like this, especially with weather like this last spring when it was so tough to practice."
The facility includes retractable batting cages and provides enough space for practicing pitching and fielding balls as well. A pitching machine is forthcoming, said Tony.
During MSB's grand opening on Saturday when snow flurries floated outside, a group of youths who play in the area Mt. Rainier and Chinook leagues were taking the opportunity to use the facility and running drills.
Many of them likely hadn't been on a baseball field since last May, said Tony, as the season usually spans the March to June time frame.
Laura Eaton, of Enumclaw, was there watching her 11-year-old son who plays in the Chinook Little League. "We've been waiting for something like this," she said.
Dan Young, also of Enumclaw, said his two sons, age 11 and 14 grew up playing baseball in the area and in the past had practices at various locations around the city to escape the bad weather, including several elementary schools as well as the cow barns at the Expo Center. "It's neat to have something like this where they can play together out of the wind and the rain."
To support his sons' baseball passion, Young said he sometimes takes his boys to Rock Creek Sports in Ravensdale to attend camps, but the training is expensive.
MSB also provides instruction for individuals, groups and team trainings, with McNally being the better teacher, said Tony. "He is a better instructor than I am," Tony said. "I just love the game."
The new facility has fielded some positive feedback from people who've followed the business through its Facebook page, said Tony. "We're just a group of friends who started a business that's needed in the city and the Plateau," he said. "I hope we can provide a good service that will last a while."
MSB is located at 1725 Garrett St. behind Les Schwab. It is now accepting reservations for practice sessions as well as upcoming training clinics.
Click here to visit MSB's official website for more information and for rates.