USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, NC
If you’re a “baseball tourist” as I am, you’re always on the lookout for interesting baseball sites whenever you travel. On a recent visit to Cary, North Carolina, I had the opportunity to tour the USA Baseball National Training Complex which was opened in 2007 and is owned by the Town of Cary.
USA Baseball is the national governing body for baseball and as such represents the United States in international competition. Three levels of youth teams, a woman’s team, a collegiate national team, and a professional team which plays in competitions such as the World Baseball Classic, comprise USA Baseball. The Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation’s top amateur ballplayer, is bestowed by USA Baseball.
The four fields that are part of the complex are each maintained according to major league standards. The dimensions are major league as well at 330′ down each line and 400′ to center field. Shimmering in the morning dew on my visit, the grass was absolutely weed-free and would put to shame many minor league parks. This is in spite of the fact that it is used by many groups besides USA Baseball including a local recreation league, according to my tour guide, Phil Davanzo a local teacher who also works for the Town of Cary.
In addition to hosting USA Baseball, the complex also hosts the Division II College Baseball Tournament. The flags of the eight tournament teams fly at the entrance to the park and upon elimination, a team will lower its flag until only the champion remains.
Each of the 1,700 seats places a fan right on top of the action and I was more than a little sorry that no team had a game on the day of my visit. Indeed, the Professional Team was in Mexico competing in the Pan-Am Games. (Team USA took the silver medal on Monday, losing to Canada, 2-1 in the championship game.)
Ticket prices depend upon the sponsor of the event.
If you’re a connoisseur of baseball parks, then you will definitely want to visit the USA Baseball National Training Complex. For more information on the center and on USA Baseball visit http://web.usabaseball.com/index.jsp
As a bonus for any baseball tourist, if you are making your way to Cary via U. S. Highway 501 from the north, you may pass through the town of Roxboro, NC. This was the birthplace of Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter, a fact proudly proclaimed on signs that mark the entrance at each end of town.