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Facility of dreams

Just behind the campus of Troy University, there is a place where the fundamentals of baseball and softball are taught – and soon to be much more.

Pierce is the owner of MVP Training Center.

He should know something about the game of baseball.

Years before, Pierce pitched for Troy State from 1976 to 1977 and was inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame back in 1999.

“I have always enjoyed teaching kids the fundamentals of baseball,” Pierce said.

“Baseball paid for my college education and the game has always been a part of my life.

“When I started, it was a way of giving back and helping kids learn the game,” he added.

Pierce built his first training facility back in 2001 and works with between 50 to 70 kids during the sports seasons.

It was 2,500 square foot, had two battle cages and allowed Pierce’s students to learn the basics of the game.

However, seven years later, Pierce has taken his facility and techniques to a new level. A little over three months ago, Pierce opened up his new MVP Training Center. This 9,000 square foot facility has everything from multiple batting cages and pitching machines to areas for speed and agility training.

But that’s not all.

Starting early in 2010, Pierce will be expanding his facility from baseball and softball to other sports such as dodgeball and wrestling.

“Dodgeball is more of a recreational sport and the main idea for offering it is to give the people in the community the opportunity to be a part of something new,” Pierce said.

The inaugural dodgeball season would begin on Saturday, Jan. 16 with a tournament and be followed by an eight-week regular season. As far as youth wrestling goes, like dodgeball, Pierce believes it would be a good opportunity for people to participate in a sport that doesn’t get as much attention as sports like baseball or football.

“[Wrestling] is not too big down here, he said. “This would give the option of changing things up for people and another way to get them involved. We want to be in a position where we can offer something to everyone.”

Both sports would take place inside the center on nights and weekends. As for other sports such as baseball, softball, soccer, football, volleyball and golf the center could be used to individual as well as team training.

“It’s all about practice,” Pierce said. “We try to encourage the kids that come here the importance of what it takes to become successful in the their respective sport.

“Our No. 1 goal here is help the kids get better,” he added.

While everything is complete with the center, the only thing left to do is see how the public will respond to its new opportunities.

“Word of mouth will be key,” he said. “We are doing a lot to spread the word about what will be going on here at the center in the coming months and we hope that people will respond to it.”

For more information visit Troybaseball.com