Batters Box: A place where hitters can find their stride - The Explorer: Sports

Batters Box: A place where hitters can find their stride

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 4:00 am

Tucked away in the back corner of an office complex near Cortaro Road and Interstate 10 sits a place where baseball and softball players go to become better players.

That place is the Batters Box, 7620 N. Hartman Lane.

Batters Box, which is owned and operated by Thoby Vieux, was created to give his son and his fellow baseball players a location where they could learn techniques and skills to better their game. But, Vieux doesn’t have a background in baseball.

“I worked in corporate America for awhile and my son is coming up loving baseball but I never played the game,” Vieux said. “I felt like there was a void on the northwest side for a facility like this to where the kids can pretty much have their place to come and hit.”

He “took the plunge” in 2009 to give his then eighth-grade son, Kelton, the tools and opportunities he needed in order to become a better player. Kelton is now a starting pitcher for Marana High School. 

Vieux has expanded into having a facility where players from Marana, Mountain View, Ironwood, Canyon Del Oro high schools, and many leagues from the Northwest, come to learn.

Some didn’t think the business would last a year, while some thought it wouldn’t last threemonths.

Now, on a wall in the Batters Box rests 200 or more hats, all from various clubs, teams and organizations. Each one is signed by the player who gave it to Vieux.

“I wanted to do something to where when a kid came in, he felt like this was is home,” he said. “So everybody who signed up, and became a member, I wanted their hats signed so I could hang it up on the wall. 

“I am hoping in seven or eight years, that one of them will be worth $150,000,” he jokingly added.

At the Batters Box, a team of instructors works with groups and one-on-one with the players.

“Anybody can come in here and jump on a machine,” he said, “But what we want them to do is to come in here and do some tee work, do some live-arm, do some soft toss, then jump on a machine. That is going to make you a complete hitter.”

Zach Koprowski, who started coming to the Batters Box when he was going to Mountain View High School, now plays for San Diego Christian College. There he plays first base and pitcher.

“The opportunities that you have here are great,” Koprowski said. “Thoby is always willing to work with you, and help you out, and is always willing to let you hit. I don’t think I would be playing college ball if I wasn’t able to come here. It really helped me out in high school.”

For some of the players who use the Batters Box, like 14-year-old Nick Estrella, they have noticed a drastic improvement in their game since coming and practicing regularly. 

“I was struggling a lot and then I started hitting the ball harder after I came here,” Estrella said. 

One particular exercise that he recalls that made his hitting better is when they had him repeatedly throw his hips as hard as he could as he tried to hit the ball. He did this until his hips were sore. This helped engrain the idea of swinging with his hips while hitting the ball.

For others, like 17-year-old Tanner Thorsrud, who plays with Kelton at Marana High School, said the facility helped him with his self-assurance. 

“I gained a lot more confidence and felt a lot more comfortable when I was hitting,” Thorsrud said. “It helped all around.”

Numerous packages for individuals and groups are available for use while the Batters Box is open. For specific times and prices, go to or call 579-6691.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

Kino College

Kino CollegeEnroll today:

HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


MOS: Storms and Floods

We asked the community about the coming floods and storms.

MOS: Back To School

We asked the community about the new school semester starting.

More Featured Videos

Follow us on Facebook