Local ball players rejoice: spring training is closer to beginning.
On Thursday, January 13, the Village of Homewood’s Planning and Zoning Committee voted unanimously to recommend a special use permit to Crete resident Karl Hearn to open Homewood Baseball Academy, a 3,000-square-foot indoor baseball training facility, in the business strip behind Home Depot.
The Homewood Board of Trustees has the final say in approving the permit.
Located at 17829 Bretz Drive, the facility has three individual cages and staff instructors who focus on batting, pitching and fielding. A soft open already has taken place, with some players coming in and testing the cages.
“Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of places to play,” Hearn said when he addressed the committee, “so I’m hoping to give that to kids now.”
Along with Hearn, who played baseball as a student at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, the business is staffed by two to three other employees. Coaches and parents will be welcome to accompany their players and instruct them as well. Hearn said his hope is for local athletes from age 5 through college to use the batting cages as a place to supplement their training year-round.
Homewood Baseball Academy will be open seven days a week by appointment, with hours beginning as early as 8 a.m. and ending by 9 p.m. to allow working parents and students opportunities to schedule time in the cages.
Although the business will operate independently of the Homewood Baseball and Softball organization, Hearn said his children have participated in the program, and he hopes for collaboration between the two entities.
Hearn said the grand opening is tentatively scheduled for the second week in February, and he hopes to be able to run introductory “camp” days to introduce local athletes to the academy. The business currently operates a Facebook and an Instagram account where details on the opening will be announced. Interested parties can also call 708-914-4430 for information on rates and scheduling.