For the last half decade the Jackson Giants have proved to be one of the top AA baseball programs in Wyoming. The team has reached three consecutive state semifinals and is coming off its winningest season since manager Jason Huggins took over in 2010.
The Giants have the talent to match up with the state’s top teams. And the program will soon have a facility that mirrors its excellence.
The Breeze Training Facility is expected to break ground in April. The 110-foot by 30-foot structure will feature two 70-foot-long batting cages, a locker room and weight room. The Giants received an anonymous grant from something called The Skynyrd Foundation to build the facility on the third base side of Giants Field.
Huggins is ecstatic that his kids will soon have an indoor facility to hone their skills 12 months out of the year.
“In order for us to keep up with the teams in our region, continue to get our kids to college and continue to get our kids exposure, these are the things we have to do,” he said. “I haven’t been able to stop smiling since things became final. It’s like Christmas all over again.”
The building is expected to take five weeks to erect and could be ready as soon as the beginning of May. The building will be 16 feet tall, and the length of the batting cages will allow for full-length bullpen sessions with an extra 10 feet of space to field ground balls. The building is named after the J.J. Cale song “Call Me the Breeze,” later made popular by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Huggins is thrilled not just for the Giants but the entire Jackson baseball community.
“They’ll have a place to basically call home,” he said of his players. “They’ll be able to go in and hit and train and learn. It’s absolutely amazing for us. And not just us, the entire baseball community, whether you’re 7 or 8 in the Cal Ripken [League] or 17 and 18 in our Giants program.”
The facility is set to go and Huggins and the Giants are accepting donations for amenities such as lockers and training equipment. Anyone who wishes to donate should contact Huggins at 307-690-2445 or at JHuggins@tcsd.org.
“We still have opportunities to not only make it the best in this region, but the best around,” he said. “If people can help out with various items that can go into the batting cage, those are the things we’re looking for.”