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Feb
25
2024
Business

Village resident, entrepreneur, realtor and all-around sports fan Todd Pultz is the owner of Nukes Warehouse, a baseball training facility in a Millworks warehouse that previously housed EnviroFlight. Upon opening next month, Pultz will donate access to the space to his two baseball teams he coaches as well as the Yellow Springs baseball program. (Photo by Reilly Dixon)

Batter up at Nukes Warehouse

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The newest tenant at Millworks is sure to be a big hit in Yellow Springs.

Coming soon to the industrial park is Nukes Warehouse, a nearly 7,000-square-foot professional baseball and softball training facility. Already furnished with batting cages, pitching machines, exercise equipment and enough space and netting for hitting homers by the hundreds, Nukes Warehouse is set to open in the next month.

“Just in time for baseball season,” owner and village resident Todd Pultz told the News this week.

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Pultz’s interest in the former EnviroFlight warehouse was sparked last fall after he learned that Millworks owner Allison Moody had been temporarily donating the space to the Yellow Springs Schools baseball teams for off-season training. The idea was the teams could practice in the vacant warehouse until Moody found a full-time tenant.

A lover of baseball and longtime entrepreneur, Pultz became that tenant. He stepped in and immediately started making sweeping improvements to the space. Nukes Warehouse was born. Its name comes from what players sometimes call a fastball or a sky-high home run.

Pultz aims to continue what Moody started: allowing the local high and middle schools baseball and softball teams to keep  using the space free of charge for off- and on-season training. Eventually, Pultz said, he’ll set up a public rental system that will allow local sluggers of all stripes to come in and hit a few balls — kids, families, adult softball players and other area teams.

“This isn’t meant to be a big profit driver,” Pultz said. “If I can eventually pay the bills from rentals, great, but this is really just my wife and me giving back and creating something nice for the community.”

Along with their three teenagers, Pultz and his wife, Lisa, came to the village just over a year ago. Lifelong residents of Riverside, the Pultzes wanted to “slow down” and establish roots in a more intentional community. In addition to overseeing the training facility, the Pultzes will hang onto their day jobs: Todd will stay the course as a realtor, and Lisa will continue her nursing work in an area ICU.

While both he and his wife have had successful entrepreneurial careers — mostly investing in multifamily housing and affordable developments in Riverside and Southwest Ohio — Pultz said they came from humble origins.

“So, I grew up in a trailer park practicing baseball by hitting rocks with sticks,” he said. “We’ve never forgotten the poverty we came from. Now, after some success, we make it a point to give back — donating our time and money to charities and the communities we’re a part of.”

For Pultz, sports has been one of the main avenues for that giving back. For the majority of his life, he’s been on the diamond working with high school teams, and now he coaches two traveling youth teams with the New Carlisle-based Next Level Baseball organization — another crop of teams that will have free access to Nukes Warehouse.

Pultz said his warehouse is almost ready to step up to the plate for these teams. Over recent weeks, local coaches have chipped in to help him erect the 10-foot batting cages, suspend netting, install pitching machines and more.

Newcomers to Yellow Springs Todd Pultz and his wife Lisa, the owners of Nukes Warehouse indoor baseball training facility in the Millworks industrial park, showed off their HitTrax simulator — a sensor device that allows baseball players to see what their hit would look like on a virtual diamond. (Photo by Reilly Dixon)

The pièce de résistance, though, of Nukes Warehouse is the HitTrax system — a data capture and simulation program that not only measures the launch angle, exit velocity and distance of every hit baseball, but also simulates the hit on a large TV screen.

So, whereas a player will hit a ball off a tee, from a hand-thrown pitch or a machine, sending that ball down a lane in the warehouse, HitTrax duplicates that hit on a screen that shows where the ball would go on a field, and how an opposing team would respond. Additionally, the athleticism of the opposing team can be adjusted based on the age and skill of the batter.

(This reporter managed to hit a couple line drives off a tee, and the virtual team of opposing 12-year-olds on the HitTrax simulation field fumbled the catch, allowing his avatar to easily reach first base several times.)

Pultz said he’s excited to show off this system — and the facility in its entirety — to the Yellow Springs community.

“Our focus first and foremost is making sure that my and the Yellow Springs High School teams have the space that they need,” he said. “But after that, this will be for the community to rent and use as they’d like.”

To his point, Pultz said he hopes that future community sporting and recreation events needing an indoor space could be staged at Nukes. Locals could one day have HitTrax nights of their own — something akin to an adults-only “dart night” at a bar, Pultz said. For those events, he hopes to partner with other Millworks tenants like the Yellow Springs Brewery or Tuck-N-Red’s Spirits & Wine. And for his grand opening, Pultz wants to raise the nets to allow for a dodgeball tournament, an event that will double as a fundraiser for the Yellow Springs baseball program.

“We’re just giving back to Yellow Springs — a place that made us feel at home right away,” Pultz said.

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One Response to “Batter up at Nukes Warehouse”

  1. Steven Toms says:

    What a great idea and definitely a way to give back!! You guys are awesome!

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