WICHITA — Some people struggle with picking a major in college, but Tommy Bryant was already planning his first business while on the baseball field in school.
He’s opening Fielder’s Choice, a baseball practice and instructional facility, at 506 S. Edgemoor near Kellogg and Edgemoor. It’s similar to one he attended during school in the Kansas City area.
“I’ve been planning this since college,” Bryant says. “It just now fell into place.”
Bryant mainly was a catcher at the University of Central Missouri, including in 2003 when the school won the Division II championship, and at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He then played most of five seasons in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
Most recently, Bryant has been the dining room manager at the Wichita Country Club. He says his plan was to work in the business world for a while before starting his own business.
He says Fielder’s Choice is for anyone from children to adults, but instruction will be geared to ages 8 to 18.
There will be a pitching simulator, which Bryant says “is basically a really fancy batting cage.” He says it’s a good tool and “also a lot of fun.”
There will be clay mounds for indoor pitching practice.
Bryant says the facility’s 10,700 square feet will be ideal for consistent instruction and practice during winter months or when players can’t be outdoors.
Fielder’s Choice will offer individual rentals or whole team practices.
“Eventually in the summer, we’ll do camps and things like that as well,” Bryant says.
Cristi Howell of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal for the space.
“It’s just an outstanding location for being able to appeal to a lot of Wichita,” Bryant says. He says it’s good access for Derby and Andover, too.
Bryant plans a grand opening for Sept. 21 and a soft opening sometime before that.
His last day at the country club is Wednesday. He says a number of members have expressed interest and offered to help in various ways, “which is really nice.”