Lincoln’s newest baseball and softball training facility will celebrate its grand opening Saturday in southwest Lincoln.
D-Bat Lincoln, located at 1115 Libra Drive, is Nebraska’s first location of the baseball and softball franchise. The nearest locations outside of the state are in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and the Kansas City metro area.
“Seven years ago, I came across my first D-Bat,” owner John Scheer said. “Soon enough, my wife told me that we either stop talking about (opening a location) or just do it.”
Saturday’s grand opening starts at 9 a.m. and visitors will be able to participate in free clinics, enter to win raffle prizes and sign up for memberships with a $10 discount. The business offers two levels of membership, with different benefits depending on how active the player is.
D-Bat also has a pro shop and will conduct camps and year-round clinics. The building has 16 batting cages, with five pitching machines and two team areas. Several local youth baseball and softball teams have already signed up for practice time.
Teams from Cortland, Waverly and Seward have used the facility since its soft opening July 5.
D-Bat enters a market that includes about four other facilities that have batting cages in Lincoln.
“The biggest challenge was finding the right place,” Scheer said. “We wanted a facility that would encompass the Lincoln baseball community. There was also enough opportunity in Lincoln to need another facility.”
Scheer has been immersed in baseball since he was young. He played competitively, grew to be a fan of the sport and is now coaching the local Dominators 14U team. Scheer and his wife, Sheri Scheer, believe D-Bat will give every player a chance to develop their attitude, beliefs and traditions in the sport.
“We’re open to novices and professionals,” John Scheer said. “You can just come in and hit a ball whenever you want.”
One of the most popular services D-Bat Lincoln offers is slow-pitch softball batting practice. A lot of adults will come in during their lunch break and practice before going back to work. Other speeds include fast-pitch softball and baseball, with ball speeds ranging from 40 to 70 miles per hour.
The facility rents out its batting cages in 30-minute slots and visitors can also take lessons. The next baseball pitching clinic will be held Aug. 29 for children 12 and under.
“My favorite thing so far has been the reception from the community,” John Scheer said. “It confirms that we are helping fulfill a need in the city.”