PORTAGE PARK — Inside a big nook storefront with blurred out home windows, Jesus Quintana coaches younger baseball and softball gamers as upbeat music thumps within the background.
Quintana is the co-owner of The Cage Chicago, an indoor batting cage at 4334 N. Central Ave. that opened in December to offer extra actions for Northwest Siders at an inexpensive value and accessible location, he stated.
Its two batting cages have been always occupied since The Cage opened, with journey groups and athletes benefit from the brand new spot, Quintana stated. Neighbors have additionally walked in, desirous to seize a bat and follow indoors whereas it’s chilly exterior, he stated.
“One of many causes we began this, too, was so that individuals have someplace to go to and follow within the space,” stated Quintana, whose youngsters play baseball and softball and follow at The Cage. “They don’t need to drive out to the [suburbs].”
Quintana, who lives in Belmont Cragin, is an enormous baseball fan. He’s been teaching softball and baseball for about 10 years, starting at Hiawatha Park after which at Dunham Park, the place he’s the director of the journey crew.
That’s the place he met Jason Pagan, a police officer who additionally lives within the neighborhood and whose daughter Quintana coaches. Sharing an affinity for baseball, the 2 teamed as much as open The Cage and started on the lookout for huge storefronts on the Northwest Aspect, Quintana stated.
“It was each of us with the identical concept so we determined to hitch forces,” Quintana stated. “The one factor we don’t agree on is the sports activities crew — I’m a Cubs fan and he’s a Sox fan.”
Discovering an area spot that was the appropriate dimension proved difficult, Quintana stated. They scouted quite a few places that had been too small till Pagan noticed a “for hire” signal on the Central Avenue nook storefront at some point.
The placement was a carpet retailer however has been vacant for about seven years, Quintana stated. The house owners rehabbed 90 % of the shop on their very own, including recent paint and partitions, opening the ceiling and placing up a fence to guard the home windows and provides it a baseball park vibe, Quintana stated.
The power has two batting cages that hire for $40 an hour and two pods accessible for $20 per hour.
Quintana additionally teaches routine hitting and pitching clinics at The Cage. The house owners plans so as to add extra periods quickly, which shall be introduced on their Facebook page.
“We do plan on having some summer season camps through the summer season days simply in order that the children aren’t caught at house,” Quintana stated. “They will come over right here and hopefully study a ability or follow their expertise they have already got.”
Albany Park resident Monica Aguirre brings her 12-year-old daughter to follow at The Cage each week. Quintana has coached her daughter in softball for about 5 years at Dunham Park, however having a location nearer to their house is an added bonus, she stated.
“It’s actually cool that we now have one thing so near our home as a result of every part’s extra within the suburbs,” Aguirre stated. “I believe it’s about time that he opened one thing up as a result of he’s a tremendous coach.”
Quintana’s dedication to teaching younger women who don’t usually see themselves within the sport and having optimistic position fashions is vital to Aguirre, she stated.
“Supporting girls’s sports activities is the way in which to go as a result of if no one helps it, then it’s nothing,” she stated.
As The Cage builds up its clientele, the house owners hope to associate with extra native parks and colleges to additional construct the world’s youth baseball and softball assets, Quintana stated.
“We had an 18-year-old child who rented [a cage] by himself and needed to get some follow in earlier than the season began, so he got here right here,” he stated. “To me, I really like that.”
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