Line Drive Hitting under new ownership

Published 9:47 am Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Line Drive Hitting owner Sean Wade holds a Mickey Mantle bat from the 1950s. Wade recently purchased the batting cages at 25000 Shady Brook Trail in Courtland. DALE LIESCH/TIDEWATER NEWS

COURTLAND—An Ivor man’s love of baseball and coaching led him to buy Line Drive Hitting batting cages in Courtland after he was laid off from a job in communications.

“I always wanted to be a business owner and it fit into a field that I have a lot of experience in,” said Sean Wade, who took over ownership on Feb. 4 from Andy Vann. A former International Paper employee, Vann opened the business at 25000 Shady Brook Trail nearly two years ago.

Wade has expanded the business to include a sports memorabilia shop that his father, Ronne, manages. The baseball cards and other sports memorabilia from as early as the 1950s comes from his father’s collection and a store he owned in Ivor, Wade said.

Items include a Mickey Mantle bat from the 1950s, a signed Mantle photo and a signed batting helmet from former Chicago Cubs player and current New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi.

“Collecting sports memorabilia is a lost art,” Wade said. “I think it helps kids learn the history of the game and learn about the game itself.”

A former Southampton High School baseball player and now a coach of the 14U and 18U Southampton Storm travel softball teams, Wade wanted to teach hitting and baseball and softball to children.

“This gives me the opportunity to get a wide variety of kids to learn the game and hitting,” Wade said.

The 37-year-old offers lessons on hitting, fielding and pitching in the facility’s five indoor cages. Local college baseball and softball players also teach lessons.

Line Drive Batting is open 3 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday and can be reached at 562-2294.