Baseball players of all ages now have a training facility to hone their skills after Long Beach brothers and professional baseball players Chase and Travis d’Arnaud unveiled their new academy on Saturday.
The d’Arnaud Athletics’ Baseballism Academy is located in an unassuming industrial building at 3940 E. Gilman St. near the post office just off Burnett Street and Redondo Avenue. The 10,200-square-foot space has everything ball players need, including batting cages, defense training areas and weights.
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It also has some unexpected amenities, like a two-chair barber shop, a film room for online branding training and content creation, a kitchen and living area, and a parent’s lounge that doubles as a space for high school players to do homework in between workouts.
At a grand opening celebration on Saturday, both brothers said they wished they’d had something like it growing up in the city.
The d’Arnauds were born and raised in Long Beach. As kids, they played ball at Lakewood Village Little League, Heartwell Pony-Colt and at local high schools. Chase played at Los Alamitos High School before graduating in 2005 and going on to play for Pepperdine University.
Travis attended Lakewood High School, where he played ball and was the starting catcher for the school’s 2006 CIF championship team. Travis graduated in 2007 and was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies that same year in the supplemental first round as the 37th overall pick.
“I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to become who I am without the people in this area,” Travis said. “That was my biggest reason for wanting to give back here.”
The d’Arnauds have a combined 14 years of professional baseball experience, with Travis gearing up for his 11th Major League Baseball season, now as the starting catcher for the Atlanta Braves. After a 12-year career, including a cumulative four years in the majors with various clubs, Chase retired after the 2019 season.
Taking their vast knowledge of the game, the brothers have created training programs focused on the fundamentals, Chase said. The academy’s 10 trainers, along with the d’Arnauds, work with players through the high school level on speed, hitting, defense, pitching and catching. They also offer team training.
“It’s not just players that we want to reach out to, it’s also the coaches,” Chase said, noting that the academy offers coach clinics to teach various drills and techniques.
Membership starts at $1,999 annually, while individual classes are available starting at $149 a month for one session per week. The brothers have plans to reach out to the city’s high school baseball programs with the hope of creating partnerships.
Various skills classes are offered throughout the week, with operating hours running from 2 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 3 to 9:30 p.m. Sundays.
“We just really want to share good information and create a culture here for players where they feel safe,” Chase said. “Where they’re around a bunch of mentors that they can trust not only for baseball stuff, but also their personal lives because you never know what’s going on in somebody’s life.”
The player-to-coach ratio is important, Chase added, saying that there are typically six trainers on the floor at any given time, which allows the ratio to never be more than six to one.
The brothers partnered with lifestyle and apparel brand Baseballism for the academy. The retailer has a dozen locations across the country, mostly near major league stadiums.
The brothers said numerous people tried to convince them to open their space in Orange County, saying all the baseball talent was beyond the Orange Curtain.
“And that lit a fire under us,” Chase said. “It even made us want to double-down on Long Beach.”
For years, the brothers shared a dream of opening their own baseball academy — a vision that was inspired by their late grandfather. Long Beach has a rich history of fostering great ball players, including now-retired Poly High School alum Tony Gwynn, who played 20 seasons in the MLB.
Travis noted, however, that cities in Orange County are beginning to “outshine” Long Beach in the baseball world — a fact the brothers said they cannot let stand.
“I’m proud of Long Beach and happy that I’m from here,” Travis said. “I want it to become another baseball Mecca. We came here to surround this community with the right knowledge, the right people to make sure baseball grows here.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify that non-members can pay $149 per month to take one class per week.