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Bay's Casey paying it forward with new baseball academy

Facility is near Shorewood

Dec. 15, 2013

It's a very old "Saturday Night Live" line, but in the eyes of former Whitefish Bay and Notre Dame University baseball star David Casey, the sport has been "very, very good to him."

So, Casey sees it as a time to "pay it forward" with a chance at a little profit, too.

Casey, a 2006 and 2007 NOW All-Suburban selection first baseman for Bay has opened, with the help of some fellow former area stars such as Kevin James, Charlie Markson, Tyler Jones and Katie Boyle, the Milwaukee Baseball Academy at 4200 N. Holton St., in Milwaukee.

The 10,000-square-foot facility will house room for aspiring baseball and fast-pitch softball players ages 4 through 18 who want to improve their skills. Casey, who has a degree in business from Notre Dame, has had the idea for something like this for awhile.

That thought became amplified when he spent a couple of winters playing baseball in Australia.

"Where I also had a big coaching role, too," he said. "I was the head of player development and that kind of opportunity got my attention. When I got back home I decided to run with it. I had grown up playing baseball but when I wanted to improve my skills (in the off-season) I would have to go to a place in Racine which was 40 minutes away. It was great, but it was so far away.

"I wanted to bring a place of that quality to the north Milwaukee area."

He went about seeking financing and found it. Then, after some searching, he found the space on the upper east side of Milwaukee about a block north of Capitol near Shorewood High School, and in his words, "was able to flip it" in about five weeks to a complete baseball/fitness center.

"We can offer pitching and batting lessons and we can specially design programs for people," Casey said. Adam Witt is the personal trainer on staff and Boyle, a former softball star at UW-Whitewater, heads up a still developing softball staff that features several former collegiate players.

Casey and his staff recently had an open house and officially opened for business just a few weeks ago.

"We had a nice group of people sign up for classes," he said. "We're really starting to get after it and we're still trying to get the word out."

Casey said it was surprisingly easy putting together the staff as many of his people are still playing (James had been in the Tampa Bay organization and Markson is playing for a Brewers minor league affiliate).

"They were guys looking to still stay in shape and maybe make a little money on the side," he said.

This new venture will help Casey itch the scratch that remains baseball to him. He said he's stopped playing for the time being, as along with the Australian venture, he had also played some independent league ball during and after college.

He now wants to devote all his time to getting this business off the ground.

"We're going to cater to people of all abilities," he said. "When the new year starts and people start thinking of baseball again we're looking to see things pick up."

For more information on the Milwaukee Baseball Academy, check out www.milwaukeebaseballacademy.com or call Casey's office at (414) 332-3188.

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