Upper Deck Baseball Academy is located off Martin Street on John Dean Blvd in Cumberland. After plowing my driveway and the front steps of my house, I took the drive north on 295, then 116, following a series of roads down a steep hill which had a great view of snowy Lincoln and Cumberland. Once on John Dean, I passed a series of warehouse loading docks on my right until I saw a row of school buses and then pulled into the parking lot area. There is a huge baseball mural to serve as your guide to the entrance of Upper Deck Baseball Academy.
I follow Upper Deck Baseball on social media and saw that general membership hours for yesterday were 1pm to 5pm. After confirming with Jim Carey and other UPDA staff about facility visitors, I felt safe and comfortable entering the Cumberland baseball and sports facility. I recommend that if you are visiting any facility for a visit or a consultation or practice for the first time, you check the facility’s safety protocols ahead of your arrival. Every facility that I have visited this winter has standard CDC guidelines and some have some individual requirements, so it is recommended to call or email in advance to be safe for you and your baseball family.
Once inside the warehouse, Upper Deck is just a short climb up to the 2nd floor. As you enter the facility, the sounds of hitting fill your ears. Upper Deck has a great safety design, with netting that forms a perimeter around all of the baseball operations. There is a well defined walkway to follow down and then to the left. Follow this walkway until you get to the office, front desk area of the facility where you can get facility information, check in, or store your baseball equipment for practice. The walls are adorned with Upper Deck Baseball history, MLB player posters, Upper Deck game jerseys, and tons of safety signage.
When I arrived on Saturday, a few of the hitting stations were in use. With the okay from Steve in the office, I was able to walk around inside the netting perimeter and check out the impressive space there at Upper Deck. 10,000 square feet of indoor turf, batting tees, L-Screens, pitching mounds – certainly enough for an individual, a coach and a player, or even an entire team of players to use. Steve mentioned that when teams are practicing, the netting gets pulled back to open up the entire facility for baseball practice. Or, they can be pulled back to create individual pitching, hitting, or coaching stations. Upper Deck has great lighting, is a very clean facility, well laid out design wise, everything is clearly marked, and it is very easy to navigate around.
After visiting Saturday, I logged on to Upper Deck Baseball Academy’s website, www.upperdeckba.com, to learn more about the facility, its hours, its instructors, and its safety protocols. Great website, very easy to find information. It outlines UDBA’s safety protocols and shows you where you can follow them on social media sites. You can even sign up for their newsletter to get information sent right to your email address. Go to www.upperdeckba.com and check it out. Or you can contact Upper Deck Baseball Academy through these links:
Facebook – Upper Deck Baseball
Fantastic baseball facility there in Cumberland. Upper Deck Baseball Academy is safe to use, well lit, well designed for a hitting lesson or an entire team practice. Absolutely worth the drive to Cumberland to get some throws, catches, and swings in this winter!!! Thanks Jim, Steve and Upper Deck Baseball Academy for all you do for Rhode Island baseball.
The RIBBE is The Rhode Island Baseball Experience. It is promoting the game of baseball here in the great state of Rhode Island for the entire baseball world to see. The RIBBE is positive stories, photos, videos, and responsible social media posts. The RIBBE is an information resource for families looking for an AAU team or a summer camp or a great place to buy a first baseman’s mitt. The RIBBE is a network of coaches, tournament directors, parents, leagues, and baseball junkies whose passion of the game of baseball is unquestioned. I believe that providing expert analysis, information and directions to ballfields, and coaching advice from some of the top RI baseball minds will help promote the game of baseball here in RI to a whole new level.