Cal Ripken was a renowned major league baseball player whose love of the sport lives on in the many Ripken Experience facilities that bear his name. One of these fine sports centers is nestled next to the Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and if you have a rookie slugger in your family, then you definitely want to experience the Ripken fields at least once.
The whole idea behind the Ripken Experience is that every kid deserves to feel like they’re batting for the major leagues. That’s why you can expect the whole nine yards here: artificial turf, lights, a state-of-the-art scoreboard, and all on fields modeled after those used by the pros.
There are full bullpens and a complete, two-story clubhouse. Kids who participate in Ripken Experience tournaments and programming get professionally coached in an environment that’s both challenging and rewarding. The Ripken Experience sets out to give kids a major league experience while still retaining that carefree, relaxing environment that families enjoy.
GET SOME SNACKS AND SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP
The Ripken Experience isn’t like your standard Little League tournament that leaves the spectators stranded on metal bleachers all day in the sun. There are training facilities, plenty of shops and a lot of great food to choose from. It’s really like going to a major league game, except it’ll be your kid out on the mound.
There are also playgrounds and a picnic pavilion to explore in between competing on one of the six premier baseball fields.
And you can take the Ripken Experience home with you, as well. When the time comes to pack up and return from your trip, players can continue to sharpen their skills with the Ripken Experience Virtual Academy.
PIGEON FORGE YOUTH BASEBALL TOURNAMENTS
There are a range of tournaments, week-long events, and “Spring Training” activities to partake in nine months out of the year, and those nine months just happen to coincide with the best time to visit Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and the surrounding area.