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Hitting it Big

Feb 27, 2017 02:10PM ● By Elena Hutslar

Payless Batting Cage owners back in the day at College Park High School. Tyler Derr (center) with Travis Smith (right).

Tyler Derr and Travis Smith met on the field when they were twelve years old, playing for the Junior Optimist Baseball League in Concord, and have been friends ever since. Travis is from Pleasant Hill, and Tyler is from Martinez.


Travis was a first baseman for College Park, and in his senior year he won Cal-Hi Sports Play of the Week during the league’s semifinals. He kept Clayton Valley from scoring, resulting in a win, which moved College Park to the championships. Tyler joined Travis at College Park his senior year, where he too contributed to the team’s success with his bat playing a crucial role in winning the series of playoff games. Together, they enjoyed an historic season. Seeded only 15th in NCS, they defeated Arroyo 2-1, winning the 2008 NCS Championships at the Oakland Coliseum.


Together, Travis and Tyler coached College Park’s JV baseball team the following year and eventually ended up at Payless Batting Cages with the hopes of owning it one day. They took ownership January 1, 2017. As new owners, they share their enthusiasm and love for the sport, offering year-round batting cages for baseball and softball, seven days a week, along with camps and professional instruction. All ages are welcome.


Visit Payless Batting Cages at 2840 E. Olivera Road, Concord. For more information, contact them at (925) 825-SLAM or visit