Bring On The Rain
11/01/2006 11:51AM ● Published by Brandi Barnett
were drawing you and the rest of the family outdoors? Well, you might be surprised to know that there are many choices right here in the North State for getting your sports fix in the off-season. And this includes more than just playing pool or bowling.
It’s always baseball season at Big League Dreams. If you haven’t already experienced Redding’s answer to Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium, you have to see it to believe it.
With replica fields of three of America’s top baseball stadiums, Big League Dreams is a true baseball experience. Any of the 230 teams play on any given night, 12 months a year. Games start at 6 p.m., with the last one starting at 10 p.m., so there’s always one to watch, no matter what your schedule. And as for the weather, artificial turf means games are never rained out. All five fields, including two farm-team fields (Des Moines and Pawtucket), host year-round games.
“Redding needed another park facility and Big League Dreams has succeeded beyond expectations,” said Gene Lanthorn, general manager. “Teams from all over have come to play.”
The park offers high schools and colleges a place to play when the weather is less-than-ideal. Games are played no matter what, unless there is true danger such as an electrical storm.
But it’s not just baseball. Big League Dreams hosts indoor soccer and in-line hockey. And it is hoping to bring in women’s roller derby. In the summer months, there’s even beach volleyball—complete with sand and sun.
No time to make dinner? The park also has a full bar and restaurant, The Stadium Club. The facilities are available for many events, such as office parties and company picnics.
So, go online, check the schedule, or call Big League Dreams and get out there and enjoy our National Pastime.
“Big League Dreams gives recreational ballplayers fields that are replicas of major league fields. John Doe can come out and hit a home run in Fenway Park, and everyone can watch and enjoy even if they’re not in Boston.”�
Big League Dreams
20155 Viking Way, Redding, CA 96003
Open M-F at 4:30 p.m.
Weekends vary according to tournaments
Family-owned and operated, Inside Sports on Hartnell Avenue is another place to enjoy baseball without worrying about being rained out. It offers batting cages, hitting and pitching tunnels, and a 3,500 square-foot academy. Boasting the largest pro shop in the area, Inside Sports ensures kids are properly fitted for equipment. Owner Ron Morris says word of mouth has benefited his business. “Be assured you can come here, get the best deal, quality merchandise and great customer service.”
On the first Tuesday of each month, Inside Sports offers instruction in five-week sessions.This allows for one-on-one guidance so that the kids can practice their skills in the off-season.
“We teach proper techniques of hitting and that’s what we stress,” Morris said.
“I’ve been around baseball all my life and have had the opportunity to work with youth. I wanted to promote baseball and softball in the community, and at the same time, give back to the youth in the area,” Morris said.
Baseball and kids are his passion and it shows at Inside Sports. Inside Sports
2704 Hartnell Ave., Redding, CA 96002
Birthday parties, pro shop, batting cages, private instruction
Open 7 days a week, including some holidays
M-F 11-8, Sat 10-8, Sun 10-6
For the adrenaline junkie, look no further than Northern California Adventure Games. Not baseball, not soccer, not hockey—paintball is the sport of choice here. At this place, it’s man against machine, or at least a speeding ball of paint heading straight toward your chest. Actually, paintball is ranked below football for danger, according to field manager Nathan Hale. “Yeah, it hurts, but wear the right equipment and get out there and have fun.”The required equipment is available to rent or to buy at the pro shop.
Once you’ve suited up in the proper gear, you can take your chances with unknown teammates and play a walk-on game on one of the eight fields, or call ahead and arrange a group game. Either way, “Paintball Hill” promises to be an experience unlike any other.
Northern California Adventure Games
End of Spring Gulch Road, HWY 273, Anderson, CA 96007
Open Saturdays and Sundays and for tournaments,
Don’t stay inside moping around until next April – get out there and experience one of the many choices the North State offers when it comes to indoor sports.�