Wednesday was the last day a group of young baseball players—future college All-Americans, no doubt—had the chance to ding a few at Grand Slam USA.
They were invited by owner and coach Bill Greenwell to hit in his batting cages one more time, before he moves on to other baseball related projects.
Greenwell’s decision to close his business of 20 years (eight spent in Timonium) is not uncommon these days.
"The economy has made it difficult to make this a thriving business," he said. "It’s the last day that I’ll tell these kids to all come in here and hit at Grand Slam."
As the kids sized up their bats for one last round, Greenwell was moving boxes and taking down nets.
"It’s kind of like a life cycle," Greenwell said. "We watched it being born and it grew and flourished. Then it started to get a little older and the idea wasn’t quite as new and exciting, and now we’re watching it die."
Greenwell, who coaches baseball at Boys Latin, said he isn’t getting out of the game entirely, after all the game runs in his blood.
Greenwell, who spent three years working as a scout for the Seattle Mariners, has traced his family's involvement with the game back to a photo from the 1880s of his great, great uncle featured in a newspaper clad in a baseball uniform and plans to continue being involved in the game.
At 67 years old, he and his son are planning to establish a private hitting lesson business.
"We’ve had some locations who have found out that we’re making this move and have asked us to join them," he said. "I’ll never retire. I never plan on retiring."
Despite looking to the future Greenwell admitted the closing isn't without some sadness.
Above all else though, Greenwell says he’ll miss the people and the connections he’s made with customers over the last 8 years in Timonium.
“Just 99 percent of the people that you meet in here are just great,” Greenwell said. “I would appreciate for our loyal customers to call me on my cell: (410) 967-1777.”
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