SF native gives back to youth baseball

Shock among shocks, sports fans: This little sports writer loves her a baseball boy. And perhaps the only thing cooler than a baseball boy is a baseball boy who gives back to his community.

Enter Michael Aicardi, founder of the San Francisco Baseball Academy.

In an effort to give The City’s youth baseball scene a boost, Aicardi opened up an indoor facility, one that the Chron’s Al Saracevic says is “the only baseball practice facility of its kind in The City.”

While Aicardi’s academy got off the ground last 2011, the North Beach native has only been working out of the Cesar Chavez Street facility since April of this year. He is already working with 80 to 100 kids a week.

Aicardi’s goal?

To give SF’s young baseball and softball players more practice time to boost their chances at playing Division I college sports, and possibly even make the majors. The surrounding Bay Area consistently cranks out scholarship-earning talent, and Aicardi wants to see more little leaguers from The City getting those opportunities.

Aicardi tells Saracevic that he’s aiming to “bring baseball back to The City.” Growing up in the San Francisco Little League scene, his teams battled with others for playing time, on fields that were — and are — in dire need of repair.

While Saracevic’s piece acknowledges Little League president Mike Singer for bringing positive change to San Francisco’s baseball facilities, there is still room for improvement.

The warehouse that Aicardi works out of houses batting cages, infield practice and bullpen sessions. One-on-one sessions with the founder go for $80 an hour, but the facility also holds team practices, small group lessons, and coaches clinics. Heck, the website even boasts that kids can hold birthday parties there, and that the academy is open to individuals “from ages 3 to 103.”