Former Red Sox pitcher Ken Ryan, pictured instructing a group of players at a baseball camp, says he plans to move the KR Baseball Academy from Pawtucket to a new building in Lincoln.
KR Baseball Academy is on the move after a successful 10-year run in Pawtucket.
Though nothing is official, the owner hopes everything regarding the academy’s new Lincoln location will be signed, sealed and delivered by the middle of next week. More specifically, Ken Ryan plans to inhabit space on 100 Higginson Ave., which is situated in the Lonsdale section of town.
“It’s going to be a very nice facility and similar to what we had,” said Ryan, the Pawtucket native who pitched for both the PawSox and Red Sox.
If everything checks out accordingly, Ryan plans to be up and running in October with a grand unveiling scheduled either on a Sunday in the same month or in November.
It appears that the new home for KR Baseball Academy is going to be part of an emerging sports and entertainment complex. Based on what Ryan has been told, a Formula One race track is going right next to his baseball school. It’s also possible that mini golf could be part of a setup that already features an indoor rock-climbing venue.
“I was very fortunate to find this place,” Ryan noted. “You’re going to be in an area where people are going to go mini golfing or to Formula One and say, ‘Oh, let’s go hit balls while we’re waiting.’”
Why did Ryan leave his decade-long Pawtucket business address located at 413 Central Ave.? For starters, the city placed limits on his hours of operation during the day and at night – Ryan was precluded from holding pitching and hitting sessions after 8 p.m. There were also issues with parking spots due to apartments sprouting up in the mill building where Ryan was operating.
Though Pawtucket officials tried their best to keep KR Baseball Academy within the city’s limits – Ryan noted that he looked at several possible relocation spots – the author of eight big-league seasons with Boston and Philadelphia came to the realization that seeking space elsewhere would serve as the best alternative. His soon-to-be Lincoln digs will be a little bit smaller than his Pawtucket operation, which was 11,700 square feet.
“The way the (Lincoln) facility is laid out is going to be very easy for me to put in my cages,” Ryan said.
Officially, Ryan closed the doors in Pawtucket in early June. The phone number to KR Baseball Academy – (401) 724-7555 – still works with Ryan now receiving calls on his cell phone.
“It was very stressful, but I said to myself that maybe this is for the best,” Ryan said. “I’m a business owner, but I’ve never moved before.”
Ryan hopes that a change in scenery will also result in the expansion of his client base into the heart of the Blackstone Valley. When he was in Pawtucket, he could always count on drawing youngsters from the city as well as Southeastern Massachusetts.
“We’ve had a lot of support through the years because of the instruction they’re getting and it’s customer friendly,” Ryan said. “A lot of people have been calling the last few months asking where I was moving to because they were going to follow me.”
Follow Brendan McGair on Twitter @BWMcGair03
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