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Our History

On Deck Baseball Academy is not just a baseball skill development academy.  It is an institution that has become an integral part of the greater-Charlotte area’s baseball history.

In 1999, Mike Shildt decided to enter the business of baseball training and created the On Deck Baseball Skill Development Academy.  Raised in Charlotte, his mother, Lib Shildt, worked for the local minor league baseball team, Charlotte O’s, and he literally grew up with baseball.  His after school childcare was shagging fly balls during batting practice.

After successful coaching careers at UNC Asheville, West Charlotte High School, and UNC Charlotte, Shildt started On Deck Baseball/Softball Skill Development Academy.  His vision for On Deck was to create a year-round program based out of an indoor/outdoor facility, a dedicated and experienced staff, and a novel approach to training young people in baseball and life.  Since then the facility has overflowed with players and teams of all ages.  This included the formation of an elite developmental team program known as the On Deck O’s.

In 2004, Shildt accepted a position with the St. Louis Cardinals.  After serving as an area scout and director of Spring Training, he led the St. Louis Cardinals “A” affiliate to back to back Appalachian League Championship in 2011 and 2012.  Following a promotion to “AA” manager, Shildt led Springfield to the Texas League Championship in 2012.  After holding multiple positions on the Big League coach staff for the Cardinals, Shildt took over as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals and was named NL Manager of the Year in 2019.  Prior to the start of his successful journey with the Cardinals’ organization, he turned over On Deck to the Hill Family who were already involved on many levels with the program and possessed a strong connection and passion for the community and the betterment of baseball in Charlotte.  Under the Hill’s leadership On Deck added the On Deck Lady O’s, On Deck Angels, On Deck Mavericks, and the On Deck Academy Teams (13U-9U).

The On Deck Staff brings an unrivalled ability and passion to the business of baseball training for young players through a family-style approach that is based on being consistent in one’s daily habits and routines, as well as the importance of balancing the academic, athletic, and social aspects of life.  Garry Hill along with two of his sons, Jason Hill and Kevin Hill, and a staff of professional coaches and instructors continued to grow the On Deck organization into a nationally recognized program.

On Deck has been serving the greater-Charlotte area by helping shape good young adults and providing them with the opportunity to achieve their dream of playing at the highest level of competition they can.  For some that next level is making their middle school or high school team or making the high school varsity team, but for many, it is college and beyond.  Thousands of kids have reached their dream of playing at the collegiate level and beyond after training and developing at On Deck Academy, including more than 500 baseball and softball players from the On Deck Team programs.

From the beginning, On Deck set out to use baseball as a tool to teach lessons about life’s experiences in a positive way.  A baseball player in the On Deck program will develop a better understanding of how education, skill, luck, work, individual achievement, team performance, sacrifice, judgment, choice… all things in which experience brings enormous value… can affect and impact their lives and the lives of others.  We believe that players who participate in the On Deck Academy, irrespective of when they stop playing competitive baseball, will be productive people with a strong sense of self-worth, work ethic and community service.  This is accomplished when the perfect balance between having fun, hard work, commitment, and desire are promoted in an educational atmosphere that offers young people the resources to achieve their goals and realize their dreams.

The Hill Family
In and around Charlotte, the Hill family and baseball are synonymous.  

Garry Hill, the son of Ed and Rachel Hill, grew up on the east side of Charlotte and began playing baseball at the age of 11.   It didn’t take long for Garry to realize that he loved the game and possessed a special talent for pitching.  Garry was a standout on the 15-year-old team that won the Colt League World Series.  He attended Garinger High School where he was the star pitcher on back-to-back State Championship teams.  He also led the Post 9 American Legion team to two World Series appearances in three years and won the title in 1965.  Garry turned down the opportunity to sign with the Washington Senators out of high school and accepted a full baseball scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He still holds the ACC record for lowest single-season earned run average (0.71).  The Atlanta Braves drafted him after only two years of college baseball as the third overall pick in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.  Coach Hill enjoyed a wonderful career with the Braves and then the St. Louis Cardinals, during which he was a teammate with the likes of Hank Aaron, Dusty Baker, Keith Hernandez, and Joe Torre.  Unfortunately, his professional career was cut short due to torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.  Despite the discovery of this devastating injury, Garry was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals organization as a pitcher, after hitting 17 homeruns as an outfielder in one season for the Greenwood Braves. Garry is always willing to share his experiences, and he thrills children and adults alike with stories about facing Reggie Jackson, striking out Ernie Banks, and pitching against Nolan Ryan.  Garry lost his battle with Pancreatic Cancer in 2017.  Garry’s passion for the game he loved, along with his desire to see young people from this community thrive in the sport, drove him to invest in and help create “The On Deck Way”.  His influence, vision, and moral compass remain a guiding force at On Deck Academy.  We know he is looking down with great pride as the On Deck O’s continue to grow and have success on and off the field! 
Garry’s brother Eddie Hill followed closely in Garry’s footsteps by making a name for himself in high school and college.  Eddie was also a member of the 1965 American Legion World Series Championship team.  He led the ACC in hitting during the 1968 season as a member of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tarheels.  He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds during the 1969 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
When Garry Hill and Sandra Prophet met, it was only natural that they’d hit it off….after all, Sandra had been around the game of baseball as a sibling of Billy Prophet, a Garinger High School and Clemson University standout.  It was even more fitting that she’d become the wife of a former major leaguer, and mother of three Division I student-athletes.  As a mother and a teacher, she has devoted her life to teaching her sons and her students the value of being well-rounded and independently sufficient.  Sandra retired from teaching in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren.
The first of Garry and Sandra’s three sons, Jason Hill, became the second player in West Charlotte school history to be given a Division I scholarship.  He went on to have a successful career at UNC Charlotte where he was recognized as a 3-time All-Conference USA selection, Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week, 1998 NCAA Central Regional Participant, and 1999 Team MVP.  He finished his career in the top five in nearly every offensive category.  Jason graduated with a BA in English in 1999 and immediately began his coaching career as an assistant coach for Loren Hibbs at UNC Charlotte while teaching freshman seminar courses and serving as an Athletic Academic Counselor.  He received a Master’s Degree in English Education from UNC Charlotte in 2002.  He resigned his position at UNC Charlotte after the 2002 season but continued teaching at the high school level.  After his first year of teaching at the high school level, Jason was selected as a Cabarrus County Schools First Class Teacher of the Year Finalist and was awarded the Cabarrus County Schools First Year High School Teacher of the Year Award.  In 2003, Mike Shildt asked Jason to take over the head coaching position with the 18U On Deck O’s.  Like the 2002 O’s, Jason’s 2003 O’s team again surpassed expectations by winning 5 different State and Regional Tournaments and finished 3rd overall out of an 85 team field consisting of the best teams in the world at the Perfect Game/Baseball America/WWBC in Jupiter, Florida.  Most importantly, once again every senior on the roster was offered a college scholarship and that tradition of success has continued ever since.  Jason Hill is currently Co-Owner of On Deck Academy.   During his four years at UNC Charlotte, Jason met Janine (Repole) Hill from Somerville, New Jersey.  Janine was a softball standout for the 49ers, where she still ranks in the top ten in nearly every career offensive and pitching category at Charlotte.  The couple married in July of 2000 and currently resides in Pineville with their five children, Matthew, Emily, Sydney, Michael and Louis.
Kevin Hill, Garry and Sandra’s second son, played at West Charlotte High School under Coach Mike Shildt where he was a 2-time all-conference and all-state selection and set the single-season and career records for stolen bases.  He signed a scholarship to play alongside his brother at UNC Charlotte where he was also a member of the 1998 team that went to Texas A&M University for the NCAA Central Regional.  He served as an assistant baseball coach at Pfeiffer University under Chris Pollard, now the head baseball coach at Duke University.  Kevin was the first member of the Hill family to get involved at On Deck, where he continued his career in coaching and team management, coaching the first-ever On Deck team.  He currently serves as Co-Owner of On Deck Academy.  Kevin married Kara (Parsons) Hill in November of 2011 and they currently reside in Pineville, NC with their two daughters, Rae and Eve.
The youngest son, Travis Hill, was an all-conference selection at Vance High School and Pfeiffer University after transferring to UNC Charlotte for his final three years of college.  Like his father, his baseball career was cut short by an unfortunate shoulder injury.  He received his BA in Sociology from Charlotte.  Travis currently serves as a coach with multiple On Deck O’s teams.  While at UNC Charlotte, Travis met Susan (Coyle) Hill, a teammate of Janine Hill on the Charlotte 49ers softball team.  The couple married in April of 2005 and currently resides in Charlotte with their sons, Brody and Connor.   
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