KATY (FOX 26) - One of the greatest names in baseball made his name in Cincinnati, but he's going to make his mark with a training camp right here in Katy.
Starting this Fall, area players will have instruction from Pete Rose, the best hitter to ever play the game, at the Pete Rose Hit King Baseball Academy .
This reporter finds the news almost too good to be true.
"I wake up in the morning every day and say the same thing," says Derek Hurley, the academy's Marketing Director. "Then I realize it is a reality each and every day. I pinch myself and I'm still here."
"Hustle up! Nobody walks!" Hurley tells his players taking the field. The former pro pitcher was already hustling up his players before knowing he'd become a partner with the original Charlie Hustle.
The Hit King Academy was the idea of Hurley and two others, and the moment Rose signed on, the plans took off.
"We have him contracted now, where he's going to be coming to town quite often," Hurley says.
The 74-year-old Rose has been making a comeback into the baseball world after being banned for gambling. Now he wants to teach the kind of baseball that made him great.
His local partners say you won't find him running a batting practice, but with technology these days, he won't have to.
"We can video tape a young player, and put his swing up on the [media] board," says Ryan Baker, the academy's Director of Baseball Operations. "Pete can walk him through what he's doing well, and what, maybe, he needs to improve."
The Hit King Academy will teach all baseball skills from somewhere in the Northwest corner of I-10 and the Grand Parkway. The original plan was for three fields at the facility, but it's already growing in a big way.
"We are in the process of finishing up our plans for a 4th field," says Johnny Johnson, the Hit King Academy's Chief Executive Officer. "That will actually be the premium field with stadium seating.
The ball is rolling on this idea all the way down to the concessions. Katy's No Label Brewery is ready to brew, brand, and bottle a specially labeled Hit King Beer, that Rose will serve at his facilities around the country.
So when how long before all of this comes together? Hit King Academy will open Fall of this year, and, of course, Pete Rose will attend its grand opening shortly after the 2016 World Series.