OGDEN -- Former major league first baseman Robin Jennings is sharing his passion for baseball through a renovated indoor sports training facility in Business Depot Ogden.
"Baseball is my background, but I love all sports and wanted to make sure we gave everyone an opportunity to get in here and train," said Jennings, a Park City resident who spent 13 years in professional baseball, including four in the major leagues.
Open since August, the Sports Depot's 12,000 square-feet of turf is welcoming teams and individuals from Tremonton to South Davis.
The facility, located at 181 S. 600 West, Building 3A,was formerly known as The Sandlot.
Catering to area youth and adults interested in a variety of sports, Jennings' bread and butter at the Sports Depot is baseball and softball training complemented by professional instruction and experience.
The facility boasts 15 pitching and hitting tunnels complete with baseball- and softball-hitting machines, a live pitch tunnel and t-ball training. For mound jockeys, the Sports Depot has designated enclosed pitching tunnels along with a stretching and agility station for warm-up and cool-down.
While baseball is featured, Jennings is eager to accommodate virtually any sports enthusiast who wants to use his facility.
Just ask anyone who's around Tuesday nights at 6:30.
"I hosted the corporate games for the Business Depot Ogden and had teams show up for dodge ball," Jennings said. "After that, I got a lot of requests, and we started running a league. It's hilarious, and the good part is now that we're adults, it doesn't matter how hard you get hit, it only stings for a second and you just laugh it off."
Jennings said the facility is perfect for everything from soccer to boot camp, and is hoping to encourage participation in sports that may not be as popular in the area, like lacrosse.
"We're planning on getting a 3-on-3 lacrosse league going for November, and I think the momentum the sport is getting right now will catch on in the area."
In addition to the professional baseball and softball instructors, Jennings has discussed plans with similar caliber lacrosse coaches who have agreed to be part of the league.
A self-proclaimed tech geek, Jennings added a webcam mounted on the southern wall overlooking the practice turf. In addition to being pretty cool, Jennings uses the footage as a tool for anyone looking to analyze and fine-tune their mechanics.
"Technology is definitely something unique he brings to the table," baseball coach, father said, and Atlanta transplant Victor Mundy.
"It really helps the kids learning about baseball, the footwork, the hitting and everything that goes along with it."
Mundy recently wrapped up coaching a fall league team that plays out of the facility and said the grounds are outstanding, and the passion and expertise Jennings and his staff bring to learning the game is what make the Sports Depot special.
"My son is 10 and he understands every word they're saying," he said.
"And while they're emphasizing basics and rudimentary skills, it's exactly what the big leagues are teaching."
As awareness of the facility increases, Jennings hopes that more people will stop by to check it out.
"The underlying theme of all this is that I truly love the game and I really want to see more baseball players in Northern Utah get exposed to the right way to do things when it comes to this sport."