MESA, Ariz. - Home Run Stadium near Main Street and Gilbert Road has been a staple in the East Valley for more than three decades, but the owner says a series of unfortunate events may force him to close.
Roc Rothchild makes the rounds daily, chatting with regulars, and getting to know new customers, because Home Run Stadium is more than a business.
"It's been characterized by some of my customers as a landmark and as an institution here in the East Valley," he said.
Rothchild has owned the batting cages for 23 years and the business has been operating for 35 years.
"I hit about 200 pitches each time," said Phil Stenholm, who bats every other day. At 66-years-old, he says this is how he gets his exercise, but more than that, he really loves the place.
"These are classic.. these are old-school type machines."
The pitching machines are rusty though. The sign out front needs repair, and so do the nets and bike racks. According to Rothchild, the past few years have been a strike out.
"We had two and a half years of light rail construction, followed by a year and a half of pandemic. We've fallen behind on some needed repairs and that's why we are reaching out to our community for some support."
Rothchild says revenue has dropped over 50% compared to years past and it's noticeable to everyone.
"Recently, it seems like there aren't as many people here as there used to be."
The hope is the people will start to come back to hit some base runs and make some donations. Sooner or later, all bases will be loaded so Home Run Stadium can stay open and everyone scores.
Rothchild started a Go Fund Me account and is hoping to raise $45,000.
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