In 1995, Mike Foote, co-owner of the Albuquerque Baseball Academy, envisioned a program that would help more Albuquerque/New Mexico athletes realize their dream of playing college and/or professional baseball. Foote played at the University of New Mexico (1977-1980) and was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds.
While playing in the pros, Foote noted that there were players from New Mexico who were never drafted, but were better players than many of the professionals around him. It was at this time that Foote began to wonder why more NM players did not get the opportunities that he had.
Fast forward to 1995. Foote, who at this time owned and operated the Albuquerque Sportsplex, had a 10 year old son, Matt, who loved playing baseball and expressed the dream of playing college baseball. As a result, Foote started a "club" baseball program and talked to college coaches about the type of players they were looking to recruit. The beginning premise was; Take a good athlete, teach and stress baseball fundamentals, provide a highly competitive schedule, and showcase players at the "right" events and more athletes would live their dream of playing college baseball.
From those talks with college coaches about recruiting New Mexico kids, Foote learned that NM players needed to prove themselves against better competition. "Scouts wanted to see our kids compete against the best competition, and see how they would respond to adversity." As a result, Foote set out to find the best tournaments and showcases, with the best competition. In 2011, the ABA was accepted in the highly regarded Premier Baseball organization, based in Texas, our players are able to compete against some of the most highly recruited players in the country. "At first, we got knocked around. But we kept playing and the kids got better, and it wasn't long before the kids realized that they were as good as kids on other teams, and could compete against anybody.
From that first team, (2003) every player had an opportunity to play college baseball. A couple players decided to pursue academics and turned down the opportunity to play. Foote noted that while the original premise was successful, there was a need to provide players and their families with help in the whole recruiting process. In 2004, Ryan Brewer (former pitching coach/recruiting coordinator at Texas Tech and UNM) joined the ABA to help fill the important recruiting void and help educate our families about the recruiting process.
In 2009, Foote was named West Texas/New Mexico state coordinator for USA Baseball's Jr. Olympic program. USA Baseball events have been instrumental in getting our players national exposure. Blake Swihart (Boston Red Sox), Jordan Pacheco (Colorado Rockies), and Alex Bregman (Houston Astros) all played with the National team and helped the USA win multiple gold medals in International competition.
Since 2003, and utilizing the same proven formula, the Albuquerque Baseball Academy has assisted in placing over 300 (98% success rate) New Mexico and West Texas players into college or professional baseball. ABA provides baseball/softball pitching, hitting, & fielding instruction from some of the most sought after and highly experienced instructors in the Southwest. Also, the ABA maintains a club team program offering club teams for players 9U-14U (Sluggers), 15U-18U (HS Summer Select) and High School Fall Showcase teams.