In 1998, The owners of the Academy saw a need for superior, trustworthy, baseball instruction in Pennsylvania. They decided to create a Baseball Academy. The concept was to create an environment where "a group of respected leaders in the field of baseball could develop programs, establish standards, prescribe methods, and examine new ideas." The goal was to produce disciplined, talented, and respected student-athletes. Today the All American Baseball Academy is recognized as one of the premier training facilities in the region. High quality baseball instruction specializing in hitting, pitching, fielding, throwing and catching requires experienced personnel. Since the day we started our staff has been the key to our success. In 1998, there were only a few "baseball academies" in Pennsylvania and most people did not know what a baseball academy was or why they needed one. Today, at a time when any self proclaimed baseball authority can open a training center, virtually none of them know the historical evolution of baseball academies. Although baseball has no one definitive inventor, Abner Doubleday gets much of the credit for a game played in his pasture which is now Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York. The National Baseball Hall of Fame is just around the corner.
No one can say with any certainty who established the first baseball academy. However, credit must be given to the Kansas City Royals for opening a baseball academy in Bradenton, Florida in August 1970. Ewing Kauffman, a creative genius and then owner of the Royals, was given 30 MLB players from the existing teams in the league to form his expansion club. These were players who were not wanted by their former teams. Kauffman spent $5.25 million dollars for the franchise and his immediate goal was to increase the level of talent in the organization, from within.
Kauffman hired Syd Thrift, who would become one of baseball's leading innovators, to assemble a talented staff of topflight professional coaches who were also exceptional instructors. Thrift studied how people learn while raising his son Mark, who suffered brain damage at birth. Mark Thrift had to be trained how to do everything in a progressive manner in order to allow his brain to adapt and find alternate ways to develop the skills he would need to survive. Thrift learned through experience how the mind and body develop. It was information that gave him insight into how to develop effective training techniques never seen before. Thrift assembled a staff of people from every field, including scientists and psychologists to develop ways to measure the effectiveness of this advanced training.
Eventually, the members of the Academy were successfully competing against teams in many instructional leagues. Thrift and his staff developed many innovative training techniques and measurements by which players could be compared that are still being used today. So, one of the things that separates All American from their competition, is the constant pursuit of the highest quality instruction utilizing the most innovative techniques. The successful physical and mental development of a baseball prospect is about much, much, more than simply competing against others.