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Hialeah gets baseball academy

Hialeah gets approval for the baseball academy.

Sarah Talalay has the details.

But Hialeah is to benefit from the Marlins stadium plans. Earlier this year, Major League Baseball threw the city a bone, promising to help develop a youth baseball academy in the city. Hialeah and Miami-Dade Sports Commission officials brought the academy a step closer to reality this week. The commission board approved on Thursday a resolution supporting the project and Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina said MLB’s commitment is firm.

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The 20-acre complex is to include seven baseball fields, batting cages, clubhouse, training facility and office space. It is to be open to kids as young as 5 through high school age and is to include camps and clinics. Robaina expects it to attract players from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and beyond.

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The academy is expected to be similar to one MLB established in Compton, Calif.

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Construction is expected to start in 2009 and be completed by mid-2010. Robaina says he has been told the project will move forward, even if the long-awaited Marlins ballpark is never built on the site of the former Orange Bowl.

That is great news for South Florida baseball.

Personally, I always thought that the new Marlins stadium should've been in Hialeah and incorporated the historical race track.  It just seemed like the perfect place.  But alas, that was never meant to be.