LESTER PRAIRIE, Minn. – Darryl Robinson has coached many all-star hitters in his career –Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman. Now he’s bringing his insights to ballplayers in Lester Prairie at his new business Crow River Comprehensive Hitting. Robinson opened the sports training facility with help from Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) Microenterprise Loan Program and Business Finance Program.
Crow River Comprehensive Hitting offers hitting-focused training programs that have an emphasis on plate discipline, sound mechanics and early pitch recognition to improve batting skills. There’s something for both dedicated baseball players and those who just want to have fun.
Robinson was the AAA hitting coach for the Philadelphia Phillies and is a former hitting coach for the AAA team under the Houston Astros. He previously played minor league baseball. Crow River Comprehensive Hitting was founded in 2020 when Darryl and his wife chose Lester Prairie to settle down and build his dream business.
“We know that baseball and the love of the game is big out here. People take the game seriously and have a strong work ethic. Those things combined create great opportunities to learn,” Robinson said. “I wanted to share my knowledge with the baseball and softball community through this business.”
Robinson’s programs include weightlifting, swing form and pre-pitch analysis. The sports facility is located off County Road 9 in a new building that includes batting cages, weight equipment and a warm-up area. Loan funds from SWIF supplied working capital and helped purchase equipment and real estate.
“This unique small business will create opportunities not only for Darryl but also for the community of Lester Prairie, and we’re proud to support that,” said Jackie Turner, SWIF Economic Development Officer.
Loan programs have been a key function of SWIF since its inception to support communities and businesses throughout southwest Minnesota. In 2001, microlending was added to existing programs as a tool to support small businesses and people looking for self-employment opportunities.
Microloan clients also receive free technical assistance from SWIF staff to improve their business management skills. Areas of support include business planning and financials analysis, QuickBooks training, marketing assistance and other training opportunities for the life of the loan.
This microloan program receives funding assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, contact SWIF at 800-594-9480, 320-587-4848 or [email protected].
About Southwest Initiative Foundation
Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) is a nonprofit community foundation connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities to create a southwest Minnesota where all people thrive. Since its founding in 1986, SWIF has distributed more than $97.8 million through its grantmaking and business finance programs.