Florida Baseball Heaven's team, the Angels, posing with a trophy after a tournament win.

By Sean Crumpacker

Looking to get the kids into sports? Florida Baseball Heaven, established by Mark Persails, 43, in 2008, is a baseball training facility located in Lakeland and Plant City. Lessons come in the form of one-on-one training, small groups or team instruction.

After retiring from a 12-year-long professional baseball career, having played both within the US and overseas, Persails realized that his passion for the sport remained. He found that there were “so many kids that wanted to play ball,” and loved to help teach kids how to excel at the game. After bouncing from little league to little league for some time, Persails decided to start his own program.

Florida Baseball Heaven features a host of experienced and accomplished coaches. Persails himself is an instructor as well as professional baseball players Terry McGriff, Corey Freeman and even Ozzie Timmons, who played and coached for the Tampa Bay Rays. Florida Baseball Heaven aims to provide the highest-skilled coaches in the area, and it definitely delivers. For those curious, the rest of its staff can be found on its website.

Alongside private, semiprivate, small group and team lessons, Florida Baseball Heaven also offers speed and agility training. Private lessons for older youth generally cost between $1,800 and $1,900, which include tournament and scholarship opportunities. For younger kids, the price range drops to around $600 to $700. Small group lessons are $55/hour. The speed and agility package is $175 for eight sessions, each one hour of hitting practice and one hour of speed and agility.

Florida Baseball Heaven also offers its own teams for kids to play on: the Miracles and the Angels. More information about both teams can be found on Florida Baseball Heaven’s Facebook.

Florida Baseball Heaven is a family-oriented baseball program. Alongside teaching youth the skills to dominate baseball, Florida Baseball Heaven aims to promote diversity and foster a community for kids with an interest in sports. Persails hopes players can build a second family at Florida Baseball Heaven.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, check out its website at www.floridabaseballheaven.com/ or contact Mark Persails at 541-6186. More information, especially about the Miracles and the Angels, can be found on its Facebook page.