REEDS SPRING, Mo. – Ballparks of America announced they will be managing the revitalization of the historic Sho-Me Baseball Camp.
General Manager of Ballparks of America, Scott Bailes, says when they found out that Show-Me Baseball Camp was available, they knew they needed to have it.
Bailes says they plan on expanding the camp’s age range from ten-year-old boys up to 18-year-olds.
“The downside is Show-Me has not had games or been used in over three years, so the ownership group is spending a lot of money to bring in one of the best field guys in the Midwest, Brock Phipps, who did the Springfield Cardinals for 15 years. He’s coming in a complete redo of our fields,” says Bailes. “They’re going to be a really cool place to go and play.”
Former owner Chris Schroeder ran Sho-Me Baseball Camp for twenty years. Due to COVID-19 and the way camps and travel baseball teams have evolved, he shut down the camp the past three years, according to Bailes.
Bailes says he hopes to keep the vintage feel of the field, but with more premiere playing surfaces, cutting-edge amenities, dorms, and a restaurant. He also says they intend to keep the Sho-Me name.
“Sho-Me Baseball is going to be baseball like when you see guys running through the cornfields, beautiful fields, and a beautiful view, and we’ll be able to do with two fields right next to each other will be able to host 15-year-olds, high school tournaments, showcase tournaments, and we already have some things on the schedule. Now it’s just a real push to get those fields up to par,” says Bailes.
He hopes to have the fields ready by April or May of this year.
He also mentioned that although the staff will be managed and run by Ballparks of America, there will be new jobs available.
Sho-Me Youth Baseball Summer Camp and Baseball School were founded in 1958. It is one of the oldest established baseball schools in the country. Sho-Me specializes in a baseball instruction program of teaching proper baseball fundamentals to youth from a coaching staff consisting of college coaches, former Major League players, and even Hall of Fame Baseball players. Players like Gaylord Perry, Ozzie Smith, and even Bailes himself coached students.
Bailes attended the Sho-Me camp in the 70s as a student and would eventually return to coach future players himself. He pitched for nine years for three teams including the Cleveland Indians, California Angels, and the Texas Rangers.
“If you drive through neighborhoods, you don’t see kids playing and having fun and playing catch in the street anymore. Like when we were kids. And we think Show Me can bring back some of that feel between players, between dads and their sons. That’s what we are trying to recapture.” says Bailes.