Today we’d like to introduce you to Mitch Thomas.
Hi Mitch, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am a business partner of Power Alley Sports – DBA – The Hitting Zone STL, located in Ofallon, MO. I spent my childhood years in Overland, MO, and attended the Ritenour School District. After high school, I would attend at the time Missouri Western State College, where I would become a student-athlete in both football and baseball while majoring in Computer Science. MWSC is now MWSU. After two years at MWSC, I would return home and attend St. Louis Community College Florrisant valley and forest park, where I would graduate with a Culinary degree. After several years I would get a position with Chrysler. After being laid off, I would start to work for Citi Mortgage as an Underwriter. During this time, I worked part-time as a softball coach and instructor for local batting cages. As I would coach my daughter, she would get a scholarship to play softball at UMSL, and I would land a volunteer position with Wash U Softball. That position would lead to the head coach pushing me to get my bachelor’s degree to become a head coach. I would graduate with a Bachelor’s in Business Management. I would leave Citi to work for Pulaski for one year till I was offered a position to build a softball program for The Hitting Zone and Casey and Ziggy Moore. After several years both would get out of the batting cage business and eventually sell to my business partner Keven Weisenborn and me.
Info about me:
At the age of 15, I found out that I was going to be a father. I graduated High school with an almost 2-year-old child with my High School Sweetheart, Kim Mason. We would both attend Missouri Western, where Kim would make the dean’s list, and I would be placed on academic probation. College was fun for me. I was not a great student, and an injury cost me an opportunity. We would return home, and I would go back to college while Kim entered the working world. I would play adult baseball all over the US. We had played college athletes, professional athletes, and of course, other aging athletes playing a kids game. As a member of the St. Louis Spikes, we won a lot. in 2009, we won a national championship for men’s baseball. One of the things that I love about baseball is that it doesn’t have a size qualification or color. I have played with many types of athletes. I was the biggest baseball player on every field I played on. I was always doubted, and they looked at me like I didn’t belong. I was an all-conference athlete in High School. I made the High School Senior All-Star game played at Mizzou.
I represented MO in the IL -MO HS all-stars. As an adult, I played for a good men’s team, the St. Louis spikes. This team would avg 40 wins a year; I was voted the 2007 Valmeyer 4th of July Classic Tournament MVP. I played at 370lbs. In 2022 I was voted into the Semi-Pro HOF by Tim Turpin and his amateur baseball committee. I left the spikes in most hitting statistical categories in the top 10 of the program, which has been around since 2002. I was proud of the opportunity my friend Jay Davis gave me, even though I may not fit that part. I would coach 8 seasons at Wash U, where we would win Conference CHampions, coach staff of the year 2x, regional participant 4 times, and had several athletes become all-Americans. I currently own The Hitting Zone STL, located in OFallon, MO, and in my 4th year as owner. We host just under 60 teams throughout the year, and we have hitting and fielding instruction we offer athletes. I am currently a coach at Timberland High School for Coach Andy Zerr and the varsity baseball team; I currently coach a 15u and 17u baseball team for Tribe Baseball; I currently work with Youth Baseball Midwest as we complete a weekly podcast. Sports have been a large part of my life, and I continue to do so. I have 3 kids and 1 grandson. Katlyn Thomas, Brayden Thomas, Aubrey Thomas, Shai Word
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Not. Father at 15. I failed in college the 1st time—divorced family. I have def overcome many hurdles, and sports helped me overcome these hurdles.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about The Hitting Zone STL?
The Hitting Zone is the premier training facility for baseball and softball players of all ages and skill levels. Our location is perfect for players in O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and surrounding areas. We have everything you need to improve your game with eight total cages, pitching machines, pitching mounds, Hit Trax, and our renovated weight room. The Hitting Zone offers top-of-the-line hitting, pitching, catching, defensive, and strength and conditioning instruction. Whether you’re a recreational player or trying to excel at the highest levels, The Hitting Zone can help you achieve your goals. Have a team? Looking for team training or practice dates/times, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
What changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
There are several batting cages in the area, and youth sports are very competitive. With the current market trends and cost of living, we could be facing a downward trend over the next couple of years. However, kids need a place to work out and train. There will always be a place for batting cages and instruction.
- 1 hour rental $40
- 30 min rental $25
- Memberships are available
- Lesson prices vary based on our independent coaches rates.
- Website: www.thehittingzonestl.com
- Instagram: @_thehittingzonestl
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HittingZone
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUv3E2bWLuwtEpu3OEZ9alg
- Other: @thehittingzonestl