When Chris and Sue Estep opened the Roundtripper Sports Academy in Westfield in 1993, the couple were preparing to do something they said no one in Indiana had ever done: create an academy dedicated solely to the American pastime. .
As it approaches its 30th anniversary, Roundtripper Academy’s dedication to player development and the game itself has not wavered.
“It’s come a long way from our debut, that’s for sure,” Sue said.
The Esteps met at the University of Kentucky, where Chris was an All-American baseball player and Sue was a cheerleader. After his college career, Chris bounced back into the minor leagues playing for teams affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates. He opened Roundtripper after the conclusion of his professional career.
Today, the facility has 65,000 square feet of indoor space and three outdoor courts. The academy organizes tournaments and presents elite teams, organizes camps and offers private lessons.
Chris is the main hitting instructor at Roundtripper. He works with a range of clients from beginners to professionals.
Professional alumni include Lance Lynn, Drew Storen and Tucker Barnhart. Lynn, currently a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, is a two-time All-Star and World Series champion. Barnhart, who catches for the Detroit Tigers, is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner. Ryan Pepiot, another Roundtripper alum who played Butler collegiate, is with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Sue said it is the knowledge, experience and dedication of the staff that makes Roundtripper unique.
“The quality of our teaching staff is second to none,” she said.
Softball lessons are also offered at Roundtripper. Sue said the academy said players benefit on and off the pitch by combining skill teaching and teamwork. She also has fun is an accent.
“Your childhood comes and goes so quickly,” Sue said.
To learn more, visit roundtripper.com.