Back in December of 2021, my brother in law Harvey texted me about a new indoor sports facility called Anchor Sports RI opening up in the Wakefield section of South Kingstown. The facility, run by South Kingstown’s Josh Rosen, would be a South County resource for the Rhode Island baseball, softball, and sports communities. I was able to find a website and some information on the general layout and programs available at Anchor Sports as well. As with everything that connects baseball and Rhode Island, I was happy to share the preliminary information about the facility on this blog and my social media pages a few weeks ago and looked forward to seeing Anchor Sports in person in the coming year.
Through a South Kingstown Little League contact, I was able to connect with owner Josh Rosen and set up a visit and tour of Anchor Sports RI. Josh invited me down yesterday, so I took the drive from North Kingstown to a very, very familiar spot in Wakefield. “It’s just a minute from Old Mountain Field,” mentioned Josh as I told him that I was directional challenged and found places via landmarks. “Riverbend Athletic Club, do you know where that is?” asked Josh, “we are right next to that building.” I knew exactly where that was and headed down Route 1, took the Saugatucket Road exit, then left on Broad Rock passed the South County YMCA, then right on Kingstown Road. At the intersection, where you can go right to head up to Peacedale/URI/Whalers Brewery, I took a left on Columbia St, drove past the old entrance to Riverbend, then made a right on Church St, then another right into the parking lot of Anchor Sports RI. 217 Church St, Wakefield. Unit B. Piece of cake, I only got lost once on the way!!!
After snapping a few photos of the exterior of Anchor Sports RI, I hustled up the wheelchair accessible ramp as it was a mere 8 degrees outside with wind chills in the negative numbers. Josh was working behind the front desk area and met me with a warm and very appreciative greeting. Josh had helped coach my nephew Jackson this past fall with the RI Rebels Autumn Baseball League team so we already had a ton of baseball to chat about. Then, we got into who we knew in RI baseball, more specifically South Kingstown baseball (Ben Walker, Mark Hutchins) that I played American Legion ball with back in the 1990s. Mark Cahill, Chris Hess, Jim Sauro – all familiar names to Josh and I on some many levels. “Mark, Chris, and Jim are just some of the incredible instructors we have for our clinics,” Josh mentioned. “I’ll show you our roster of coaches, it is very impressive and I know parents will learn a ton from this group.” Josh pointed my attention to his website, www.anchorsportri.com., and pulled up the roster of instructors running baseball and softball clinics this season. It was great chatting local baseball stuff with Josh and we joked about how connected many of us are here in the Rhode Island Baseball community. Great first impression of the owner, the coaching staff at the facility, and the overall positive vibe of the place.
As Josh and I were speaking, I couldn’t help notice a Pickleball practice or gathering to the left of the front desk area. “Ocean State Pickleball is practicing and just passed the court (there) my team and I are working on a golf set up,” said Josh pointing to the area just passed the pickleball court. I asked him about if a multi sports facility was the original plan of Anchor Sports RI. “I wanted to focus on baseball and softball as well as blend in other sports and activities to make it a comprehensive, year round sports facility,” stated Josh, “but to be clear, the cages and baseball/softball programming was/is the main focus for sure.” Josh walked me over to the cages and we chatted about the setup. “3 60’s cages, 1 70′ cage there at the end, all netting is retractable if a team wanted to practice here.” Josh showed me the special kind of netting he had installed. “Take a look at this netting, the tension, the tautness of it,” he started, “we designed the cages with this higher rated golf netting set up so there is hardly any slack, no real chance of the balls flying into the net then coming down on top of a pitcher or another player, the ball just skips of the netting when it hits it. Very safe for hitters and batting practice pitchers standing behind those L-screens.” Josh mentioned a few resources he used for Anchor Sports RI. “78 Sports outfitted us with the netting, turf, sports related equipment. Ruggieri Carpet did the flooring and turf installation. And I used Martone to do the buildout and construction of the facility.”
Here is a closeup of the netting Josh was referring to:
There was a safe walkway on the left of Cage 1 that Josh and I walked down and chatted about safety protocols for players, parents, and visitors to Anchor Sports RI. “Sure, first we sanitize and clean every piece of equipment in this facility daily, sometimes multiple times per day. There is a safety waiver to sign when you visit Anchor Sports RI. And we have a tracking system of who was in the building at all times. Batting helmets and masking are highly recommended to all our visitors,” stated Josh.
Josh was thrilled to offer so many clinics and programs to the Rhode Island baseball community. “We are not affiliated with any specific league or team or organization, we welcome any player, any team, any organization to come down and learn from some of the best baseball and softball talents this state has to offer.” Josh went over some of the clinics and the fact that he wanted Anchor Sports RI to benefit a wide range of age levels and ability levels. “If you have a child that has never caught or wants to learn to catch, great we have a spot for you here,” said Josh, ” we have pitching, hitting, field, catching, bullpen sessions, and even a live batting practice option.” Josh stopped for a moment to talk about the live BP option. “We have a local guy (Brian Lessard), who can throw amazing batting practice here. Kids, players and sign up for a block of time and get a ton of quality swings. This guy is like a pitching machine, bonus is it is live batting practice!” I could tell Josh was excited about this program and he even admitted to me that he himself had recently taken some live BP.
At the end of the walkway, Josh pointed to a section of pre-school play toys. “We are starting a pre-school fitness type class here for parents to come in and workout with their toddlers. We just pull back the netting and give them a big space to run around in.” Josh mentioned it was a pilot program that he hoped would turn into something more permanent in the weeks and months to follow. He called it “Little Anchors.”
I took a walk around the 4 batting cages and snapped some more photos of Anchor Sports RI before finishing up my visit with Josh. I met him back at the front desk, which also had some Anchor Sports RI apparel on the back shelves. “Yeah, we have hats, short and long sleeve shirts, we are in the process of getting some hoodies and beanies made as well.” I asked Josh what was the best way for visitors to find out more information on Anchor Sports RI and its programming options. “We offer membership options or you can rent a cage or sign up for a clinic all through our website,” Josh mentioned the website is constantly being updated with the latest facility news and has all the rental options, roster of instructors, upcoming clinics and more. Josh and I chatted briefly about the Patriots game and their chances against Buffalo (spoiler alert: it didn’t’ turn out like Josh and I predicted) and agreed to stay in contact for all things Anchor Sports RI.
The facility is super clean, great facility layout, easy to get into and walk around, great lighting, and I loved the chat about the special golf style netting and Anchor Sports RI’s safety protocols. Really positive vibe and great signage throughout the facility showcasing upcoming classes and clinics. Josh and the team that put Anchor Sports RI together did a phenomenal job on the physical set up and the programming options for baseball and softball as well as fitness, pickleball, and the soon-to-be golf section. I really enjoyed hearing Josh speak about his passion for the Rhode Island sports community and also the quality instruction from his very impressive roster of clinic instructors. You can rent a cage, take a lesson, enroll in a clinic from a top area baseball or softball coach, or just take live batting practice – its all there at Anchor Sports RI.
Best wishes to Josh Rosen and Anchor Sports RI!!! For more information on Anchor Sports RI, here are some helpful links. And I have also included the links to the business and services mentioned in this article: