For David Gavigan, baseball never ends.
Traditionally a spring sport for most high schools and colleges, many neighborhood youth leagues have extended the season into the fall.
But bats are generally silent for the rest of the year. Except at Everybody Hits.
Gavigan (below right) opened his batting cages at 529 W. Girard Ave. in May 2013. The fun-themed indoor batting cage operates year-round in Olde Kensington.
The steel sliding doors covering the store are painted with bright summer colors of orange, pink and yellow. Silhouetted Ball players are painted in front of orange sand with a pink horizon behind them, resembling the cover of the 1966 documentary “The Endless Summer.” But Gavigan has treated every season like a regular day in the office.
“It’s a slower season for us,” Gavigan said in October. “There are still people playing baseball in the fall season, but the busy season starts about mid-February.”
Gavigan’s clients are a wide range of age groups — children, high school students and pick-up baseball teams.
In the offseason, he relies on newspaper ads to help attract customers to his facility. He advertises weekly events at the cages, featuring live music, to bring in a non-batting cage clientele.
“Doing events in here have been great for the business,” Gavigan said. “We’ve had art shows, birthdays, live music and bar mitzvahs.”
Besides offering a place to swing a bat, he gives out baseball cards to some of the kids who come through his door. His facility also offers arcade games and pitching nets.
Neighborhood kids come in and out of Gavigan’s cages to hit and hang out.
“We like coming here and hit balls in the cage,” Kareem Ray, 10, said on a day he visited with three friends. “I like talking with David too.”
The indoor cages have given neighborhood parents a place to take their kids for a day of hitting or a few pitches for practice. One of those parents, Tim Metzler, said his family takes advantage of everything Everybody Hits provides.
“They can still come in here and get some swings in and use the nets in the winter,” Metzler (below) said. “I like that I can get pizza delivered and they have benches.”
Promoting his business, talking to and helping his customers are all part of Gavigan’s job.
“There are not a lot of places doing what we do,” Gavigan said of the extras his business offers. “It (batting cages) can fit into a lot of different celebrations.”
–Text, images and video by Connor Northrup.