Wayne Gomes ('94) Opens Training Center For Youth

September 25, 2008
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Sept. 25, 2008

Hampton, Va., Sept. 25, 2008 - A few years ago, Wayne Gomes had one of the hottest arms in Major League Baseball.

After 14 years as a versatile pro pitcher, the Hampton native finally hung up his jersey and turned his talents to training other young people in the art of the game.

The result is the Virginia Baseball Academy in Hampton. The Academy is where Gomes and his staff train young people ages 7 and up in all aspects of baseball.

While Gomes' Academy has officially been in operation for several months, it is only now finding the optimal facility for the various skills-training exercises the young students require.

On November 1, the VBA will celebrate the Grand Opening of the new facility at 1322 LaSalle Ave., Hampton. The extensively renovated building is next to the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA and Hampton's Health Department building.

Gomes says he hopes a lot of people will turn out for the Open House between 6 and 7 p.m.

"We're excited about bringing the public in for a look at all the equipment, and the activities we offer our young athletes. Plus, there'll be refreshments and door prizes and some interesting speakers," he said.

Besides local luminaries, Gomes expects to have guests from the world of professional sports.

Sports training requires space, and Gomes found it in the 8,300 square feet his new building offers. And the centralized spot in the city will make it convenient for parents looking for constructive activities for their budding athletes. Gomes says he also draws students from the Southside and Williamsburg areas, since it's a quick commute to Hampton.

Gomes brings a long history of sports excellence with him to the Academy. In 1993, he was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies as the fourth overall pick in the first round. Before that, he pitched for Old Dominion University, and in 2001, was inducted into their Sports Hall of Fame. He's also a two-time All American, and was recently inducted into the Lower Peninsula Athletic Hall of Fame.

For more information on the Virginia Baseball Academy, visit the Web site at www.virginiabaseballacademy.com.