By Jessica Cage
Nothing beats baseball as the ultimate pastime with hot dogs, a few cold ones for the grown ups and rooting on that favorite team. Here in Chicago there is never a shortage during baseball season, and it really kicks off with the Crosstown Classic. Whether you bleed Cubby blue and red or kick it on the South side with the Sox, if you are in Chicago, you are watching baseball. When that dreaded time between seasons strikes though, it’s time to take the family out to get that fix. Sure there are highlights and recaps, but true lovers of the game don’t just watch, they play and they need practice. Here in Chicago there are plenty of batting cages just waiting for you to hit that home run, but these are the best of the best.
BASH Sports Academy
2617 W. Fletcher
Chicago, IL 60618
Price: $30 half hour/$50 full hour
BASH Sports Academy is one of Chicago’s top baseball training facilities. Offering classes for future hall of famers as young as age 7, BASH gives a full-service experience. It provides all of the equipment as well as tips of the trade from local Chicago pros. Become a member to enjoy great discounts and personal training sessions. If you are not ready to commit to a membership, hourly rates are available, but call ahead because spots fill up fast.
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6200 River Bend Drive
Lisle, IL 60532
Price: $14 to $45 with machine/$12 to $35 without machine
The Bull/Sox Academy in Lisle offers different options for any need with low hourly rates and game-like play. If you’re more of a pitcher at heart, the Bulls/Sox Academy accommodates you with cages that may be rented for practicing that strike-out pitch. Bat in a cage with a machine or have a few swings at tee ball for the perfect sporty day out with the family. Invest in year-round training programs and watch that little slugger grow into the next all star.
The Strike Zone
2025 Johns Drive
Glenview, IL 60025
Price: $25 half hour/$40 full hour
The Strike Zone goes above and beyond to ensure everyone has a great time. It not only offers low rates, but hard-hitting, baseball-loving players should take advantage of its Z-card, a yearly pass that allows you unlimited access to batting cages for the price of 20 regular sessions. This deal is a steal for anyone who has a real passion for the sport. Party packages are also available. Have your child’s birthday party here and send everyone home with an official baseball, an Easton glove and stuffed to the rim with pizza.
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Naperville Baseball Academy
1811 High Grove Lane
Naperville, Illinois 60540
Price: $20 half hour/$40 full hour
Naperville Baseball Academy offers three newly renovated cages. If you want to really challenge your batting ability, visit Naperville Baseball Academy where you can set your pitch to up to 100 miles per hour. Sharing a cage is encouraged, so bring a group of friends and knock out a few with the added benefit of no price changes to the hourly rate. Contact Coach Lou for special pricing and information about seasonal and year-round batting cage packages.
Fox Valley Sports Academy
1605 Dundee Ave., Suite G
Elgin, IL 60120
Price: $20 half hour/$30 full hour
Fox Valley Sports Academy offers training tunnels for players to get a better feel for that follow-through. This gives you a enhanced impression of where your ball will end up on a real field and how to improve your swing. It offers three adjustable tunnels, as the netting may be moved to better accommodate your needs. With low hourly rates, Fox Valley Sports Academy really stands out for serious ball players.