The Cage promises to raise batting averages
A new Hudson business was the brainchild of Tim Rambo who has been hooked on baseball since he played in the Little League World Series at the age of 10. Last week he and his wife Angela opened his dream business -- The Cage -- in the town of Hudson at 579 Schommer Drive.
“This has a dream of mine forever,” Rambo said. “The Little League World Series made a huge impression on me; it was quite an experience. Baseball has been my passion ever since.”
The Cage, however, is more than just batting cages. The business has six party rooms for birthday parties, four batting cages (both softball and baseball), a full-sized bullpen, arcade areas with a variety of sports related games, a T-ball (or soft toss) and golf net, a lounge where parents can watch from above while their kids work on their batting techniques and a store that sells snacks, beverages and Hudson Raider gear including T-shirts and sweatshirts.
Tim is active in the Hudson Boosters, coaching baseball the past three years, so he already has the attention of the organization that will field 1,200 baseball/softball players this summer. He expects the business to draw from the entire area, however.
“We think we can attract people interested in baseball from Hudson, New Richmond, Roberts, Baldwin, River Falls and beyond in western Wisconsin,” Rambo said. “We’re also seeing people from Stillwater, Bayport, Lakeland, Afton and the Twin Cities.
“We are happy to operate this business because it offers a year-around safe environment for kids -- it can become a great place for kids to hang out,” Rambo said. “Baseball has been growing in the St. Croix Valley. We’re seeing more people all the way from little league to adults playing baseball and softball.”
Rambo said baseball, like all sports, is becoming a year-around activity and facilities like The Cage make it possible.
“I grew up in California and baseball was always a year-around sport,” Rambo said.
The new business owner was a great player as a youngster, pitching in the CABA Little League World Series for his California team. At age 15 he had already attracted the attention of major league teams including the Philadelphia Phillies. Unfortunately he suffered a shoulder injury and despite three surgeries, was never able to regain his potential big league form.
Rambo and his wife, the former Angela Soucy from Hudson, and have been married 10 years. Angela was a 1994 Hudson High School graduate who is now a graphic designer for Portrait Design & Print Studio in River Falls. They currently live in the town of St. Joseph and their two children – Eli, 9, and Ethan, 7 – attend Houlton Elementary School.
After their marriage, they moved to Fresno, Calif., but returned to Hudson in 2011.
Rambo has visited some similar facilities in the Twin Cities, but feels The Cage has much more to offer.
“We offer the parties, arcade games and other amenities,” Rambo said. “Our pitching machines are unique because we use the arm-style machines, not the wheel style. The arm-style machines simulate the motion of a pitcher which translates better to actual pitching conditions. The bullpen is also unique.”
He encourages all organizations – not just the Boosters – to give him a call. He is currently working with members of River Community Church (Houlton) where his brother Tony Rambo is the pastor. Tim is also the brother-in-law Lisa Rambo who gained fame in the past year as a contestant on “The Biggest Loser.”
The other thing Rambo is passionate about is encouraging great sportsmanship.
“Hudson High School does a great job with teaching sportsmanship and we feel that is an important part of what we do,” Rambo said.
The current hours of The Cage are Monday through Friday (3-9 p.m.); Saturday (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and Sunday (noon to 6 p.m.) He expects those to be expanded for the upcoming summer season.
The business offers tokens for $2 and each token will get the patron a choice of activities. For instance, one token gets a patron 15 swings in the batting cage. The Cage also has package deals available – for instance 12 tokens for $20.
The Cage also offers season passes and party rates for birthday celebrations. For details on pricing, go to www.thecagehudson.com, or call the business at (715) 690-2700. The business, 579 Schommer Drive., is in the town of Hudson Industrial Park, just west of the Nor-Lake factory near County A.