Spring training takes place year ’round in temperate Los Angeles, so aspiring baseball players may take as many mighty swings as they can fit into their schedules. As for deciding where to bat a ball, consider location and setting as well as wants and needs. Then practice that grand slam at the five best batting cages in the City of Angels.
Castle Batting Cages
4989 Sepulveda Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Price: $3 for 30 pitches/$24 1/2 hour/$42 one hour
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Fri – 10 a.m. to midnight; Sun – 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Closed during wet weather
Spiffy and snazzy, this baseball section of a Medieval-themed family fun spot in the Valley offers an assortment of facilities to accommodate your batting style, from low arc to fast pitch. Tracking speeds from 40 mph to 80 mph are on tap as are some of the slickest cages in the Southland. Kids older than 8 are invited, but dogs and smokers are not.
220 N. Victory Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91502
Price: $3 25 pitches/$12 15 minutes/$20 30 minutes/$35 60 minutes
Hours: Mon to Fri – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sat and Sun – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Go to the slick and alluring BatCade to get your game on, especially if you’re a starter hitter who needs to get in some practice at a moment’s notice. In answer to that need, this facility is open no matter the weather because its cages are covered. Get on that batting glove and head over to beautiful downtown Burbank for a real power hit. Oh, and if you’re hungry, no worries: Food not found on the property can be delivered right to your cage from area restaurants. Menus available.
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Rex’s Baseball Batting Cage
11723 S. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA
Price: $18 15 minutes/$13 30 minutes/$24 60 minutes
Hours: Mon – 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Tues to Fri – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
No matter what speed you require for throwing, be that with a baseball or a softball, Rex’s pitching machines will accommodate. Likewise, if you don’t own a bat, rentals are on tap (for a mere 50 cents) as are an assortment of refreshments. Play ball at arguably the oldest place in Los Angeles proper, originated in 1978, to bat in the cage of your choosing.
Grand Slam Sports Center
140 E. Duarte Rd.
Monrovia, CA 91016
Price: $3 20 pitches/$13 15 minutes/$24 30 minutes/$35 45 minutes/$45 60 minutes
Hours: Mon to Fri – 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat – 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sun – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Speeds ranging from 25 mph up to 100 mph are captured in all six batting cages at this facility just east of Pasadena. Helmets and bats are on hand, so bring only yourself to practice your high arc, slow pitch softball, your fast-pitch softball or your hard ball of any style. A pro shop on the premises promises at least a professional look and feel while you practice. Consult the experts on hand for the gear that best suits your needs.
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5746 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Price: $3 32 balls/maximum two buckets per cage/$30 for one hour
Hours: Mon to Fri –1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sun – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Take lessons at this tiny hall of fame where vintage elements from the game hang on the walls just a baseball’s throw from the Pacific. Half a dozen swing-away cages give potential power hitters the chance to get their game on, but serious players should not expect a snazzy, state-of-the-art operation. In fact, most of these Venice-based facilities require manual pick-up with one automated returner. Still, proper baseball games require that players throw back the ball, so doing so before you get out on the field may just make all the difference in your stats.
Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.