Folks in South Miami-Dade take their baseball seriously, and so does Hitter's House. The store features four batting cages where a practicing slugger can get twenty pitches for just $1.25. Special hourly team rates are another indication that Hitter's House understands that the nation's favorite pastime is not just another sport. Autographed photos and baseball cards are available for collectors. Hard-core playing enthusiasts can find just about every piece of baseball gear available, from mitts to mouthpieces.

Need a set of dishes? Looking for just the right lamp to put in that corner of the den? On the prowl for the Ferrante and Teicher LP that will complete your collection of Sixties lounge music? This is the place for you. Red White & Blue is a veritable department store of used wares, containing not simply aisle upon aisle of clothing, handbags, and shoes but entire sections devoted to furniture, household goods, electronics, books, and records. If you don't find what you're looking for the first time, don't despair; new old merchandise is arriving constantly. And sales benefit a good cause: the Vietnam Veterans of America.

The man locked safely in his cage of yellow metal bars has to press the buzzer to open the first layer of metal bars to let you in. This time it's two young men, who carry a thirteen-inch television set to the pawning counter for quick cash. A family slumped in plastic chairs in the corner waits for the more complex loan negotiations of the group's patriarch to conclude. A teenage girl considers a dozen gold chains laid out in the case next to the handguns. Scores of rings with stories to tell twinkle up from another case. "We've got a sale on: 50 percent off all the gold," the salesman croons. He slips a gold band studded with green and white stones on her finger. "You see this ring?" he asks. "This is real emeralds. JC Penney gonna charge you $700." He flips over the price tag triumphantly -- $255, before the discount. "We buy low and sell low, so the customer gets a good value," he explains. A man steps up to the counter to inquire about buying a TV. The salesman has just the one for him. Another customer slips out the door at the next buzz. "Okay, I see you tomorrow," the salesman calls out, disappointed for the briefest moment. He knows it's just the middle of the 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily shift. There'll be other sales.

An angler walked into Richter's shop. He thought he needed to replace some gear. He picked out some $65 fly line and plunked it down on the counter. Richter had other thoughts on the matter after examining the angler's old line. "There's nothing wrong with this," he said, adding that it just needed to be cleaned. "I could sell some new line to you, but I wouldn't feel right about it." There are easier ways to catch fish than to go at them with a fly rod. But there is perhaps no simpler way to transcend this world for a few hours. As a result fly-fishermen and women tend to be a gentler, more contemplative lot and, of course, more honest -- all qualities Richter and his shop embody. "I'm a teacher; I'm really not a salesperson," the Miami native and semiretired architect admits. "I don't do this for a living. If I did I'd be broke." He gives fly-tying lessons and holds casting clinics. He sells all manner of gear (both new and used), and he serves as an information conduit for Miami-Dade anglers. All because fly-fishing, well, "it's a love, it's a passion, it's a more difficult way to catch a fish," he says. "If you want to catch more fish, go get some bait." Open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®