Chris Estep’s life has been baseball.
An All-American at the University of Kentucky, the Carmel High School graduate played in the minors with the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Montreal organizations, reaching the Double-A level.
“I was trying to figure out what I was going to do,” Estep said. “I always had a great relationship with kids, signing autographs and doing school functions.”
He decided to start a training facility while he was still playing. The first facility in 1993 was called the Baseball Factory. He eventually moved the operation to Carmel and renamed it Roundtripper Sports Academy.
“It grew and it grew,” said Estep, who serves as the University High School baseball coach.
There was a Brownsburg site and there was a Fishers/Geist site along with Carmel.
“When we built the Westfield location, we closed the others to consolidate operations,” said Estep’s wife, Sue.
The Westfield location is at 16708 Southpark Dr.
Sue serves is the vice president, taking care of operations for the baseball and softball facility. There are year-round activities, including summer camps.
“We had started the expansion before the pandemic,” Sue said.
There is now 65,000 square feet under the roof.
“It’s all dedicated to baseball and softball training,” Sue said. “We are one of the few places of this size and magnitude in the nation that have been dedicated to baseball and softball training.”
With all the extra space, Sue said they are able to create pods within the building to separate into smaller groups.
“It’s allowed us to keep things as normal as possible for the kids,” Sue said.
Chris Estep said the addition is the best thing Roundtripper has ever done, even though he didn’t want to do it.
“Sue would say we have to expand,” Chris said. “I was like, ‘I don’t want to expand.’ She said, ‘No, we have to do this.’ It was 100 percent her vision. I can’t take any credit for that. She saw what the marketplace is screaming for and what it needed. She understood how this would work. For us, I think it’s going to work out extremely well because we have the best instructors in town. Our clientele is so amazing. Their loyalty is beyond belief.”
Twenty trainers are in the facility during operating hours. Some of have been with Roundripper for more than 20 years.
“Scott Shirley has been here the longest,” Estep said. “He has the patience of Job. He works with all the youth and they love him.”
The summer camps are run similar to the sessions that are run during the year.
“The difference is, in the summer we offer a morning session as well as an evening session to accommodate parents,” Sue said.
Camps are six-week sessions and divided by age groups, from pre-kindergarten children to collegiate level players.
“We have college players that will come back to us and train with us while playing in the summer,” Sue said. “One of the nice things here is we have plenty of space inside and we have three fields outside. They are real grass and dirt.”
The University High School and Traders Point baseball and softball teams use the fields for their teams.
The camp sessions are $250 for non-members. All members receive a 20 percent discount on classes and camps.
There will be open gym times each day following the camp sessions. Open gym runs two hours following morning camp times and is $20 per session. Packages with multiple days can be purchased.
For more, visit roundtripper.com.