NEWTON, N.C. (June 20, 2016)—Newton welcomed Heat Baseball to the city during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, June 17.
Heat Baseball was started by Dustin Harrington and Scott Essary. Both lifelong baseball fans, Harrington and Essary are passionate about teaching children and teens the skills they need to win college baseball scholarships.
Harrington has played baseball his entire life, including on teams at Alexander Central High School and East Carolina University. After college, he was drafted by and played for the Cubs. Today, he provides pitching, hitting, catching and fielding lessons to Heat Baseball members. He and the organization’s coaches all played college baseball.
“I love the game and working with children, and this is a way that I can stay involved in the sport,” Harrington said.
Harrington and Essary started Heat Baseball about 10 years ago. For them, their work isn’t just about improving skills; it’s also about building relationships with their players.
Heat Baseball’s new location in a former industrial building at 506 West 25th St. is their first indoor facility and is the perfect place for athletes to improve their skills under expert guidance. The space is filled with cages for practice, a workout area, and a comfortable lounge for parents. Over the years, more than 115 Heat Baseball players have signed with college and professional baseball teams, Harrington said.
Heat Baseball is currently open for memberships. The organization is home to 10 traveling baseball teams, is the official hitting center for Catawba Valley Community College’s baseball team, and is open for practice to high school and middle school teams. Heat Baseball offers several hitting leagues and hosts camps with professional baseball players each year.
“We’re happy to welcome you to the city,” Newton Mayor Anne P. Stedman said during the ribbon cutting ceremony. “It’s great to see the way you’ve renovated and repurposed this space, and we wish you much success.”
“We love being in Newton,” Essary said. “I’ve been here all my life and Dustin and I want to bring as much business as we can into Newton.”