T Ball is a great concept… see the ball, hit the ball, then run.
It’s a great beginning and where a lifelong dream can be born.
Nothing wrong with a season or two of it… actually a lot that’s right about it!
But Then What? Machine Pitch, Coach Pitch Or Kid Pitch?
Generally a town or league determines between coach-pitch, or machine pitch…and sometimes even kid pitch…my least favorite for these newbies.
If you have the choice… please choose a pitching machine league for your own children and if you have any say in the decision on a league-wide basis… please influence having the kids batting against a pitching machine.
Here’s my reasoning:
Machines are more accurate & consistent by a long shot… especially if you understand which machines to purchase.
Dads & coaches just are not as accurate or consistent as a machine designed to do this one thing… pitch a straight ball at a specific speed. Inaccurate humans can lead to long breaks in the action and impatient young ones swinging at terrible pitches…. Influencing bad swing mechanics and the potential of more failure as these bad habits quickly set in.
The 38 MPH “Rainbow Pitch”
The reduced pitchers speed and arc of a pitch required from a coaches hand tends to be more severe and less game-like than pitches from a pitching machine. Machines pitch from a lower, thus straighter plane.
Throwing “aimed” balls (typical pitch velocity of this age group is 38-40 MPH) is like a throwing a dart, it is difficult to remain consistent for anyone, regardless of skill level.
It is actually a habit we keep an eye on with older pitchers who struggle in the middle of a game. These pitchers try so hard to be accurate that they actually need to be reminded to just throw it, not aim it!
You have probably seen this happen… the pitcher who looks like he is praying for a strike, rather than throwing one.
It’s usually followed by the coach walking to the mound to discuss it… then followed by some good pitches… or the end of the day for the player. Either way, throwing darts is great for the game of darts… but not for pitching a baseball.
The problem with considering Pitching Machine Leagues basically revolves around operating costs of the machines themselves and sometimes, the lack of electricity at the field… and most don’t want to add a power generator if its avoidable…for lots of reasons (money, noise & smelly kerosene come to mind).
And don’t forget batting practice… once your league owns a few pitching machines for league-play, all your coaches will now be able to give their players tons more swings in practices too!… for no extra investment either!
Plenty of Choices To Overcome The Problem
Assuming Pitching Machine Leagues make sense to you, it now becomes a matter of your budget, model choices & convenience.
We Now Carry Over 45 Pitching Machines from $200 to $3000!
Due to the tremendous growth of youth & travel baseball over the last decades, some very innovative inventors and manufacturers have seen and addressed the issue of affordable league, team & backyard pitching machines. The problem, as usual, is at what point does inexpensive become junk?
It is my hope that you will consider our advise, so please check out these recommendations whether it’s for your own backyard or your own league, travel baseball club or your town:
From Least Expensive:
The Heater Base Hit – now only $199 and free ship!
This is an excellent entry-level (not junk) pitching machine. It uses a traditional spinning wheel (tire) to propel any baseball sized ball whether it is a light or soft safety-ball or an official game baseball or rubber machine pitch dimple ball.
This model has an abs plastic housing and comes complete with a corkscrew 12 ball automatic feeder that is more appropriate for solo practice and not pitching machine leagues. It wil throw leather baseballs though consider our good official size and weight dimple balls. they fly straighter and last 10 time as long without stinging the hands so much. It throws and adjustable speed fastball with good accuracy up to 45+ mph. Have A Look Or Order Now
The Heater Junior – now only $299.95
This is one step up from the Heater Basehit & also a good entry-level pitching machine. We have been using a Heater Jr. and its matching outdoor backyard batting cage at one of our lucky test-players for over 2 years and have had no issue with it (a few strings have popped in the cage net…not bad for 4 seasons of Atlanta weather on balls coming off the bat of our strong 13 yr old tester!
Buy A Pitching Machine With Your Budget
Frankly, I do not see enough difference compared to the Basehit so:
+ if money is tight – give another look at our Heater Basehit and pocket the difference
+ if money is not the issue – look at the original Heater Baseball or Heater Softball models found next. Its only $100 more as of this writing and is a real upgrade.
I have given thought and have decided that the difference in features & performance did not warrant carrying this machine because there are models on either side of this price-point that will give you more value.
The Heater Baseball or Softball Pitching Machine – now only $399.95 to $445. & free ship!
These identical looking baseball-only & softball-only pitching machines improve on the concept of our Heater Jr. model above. They throw fastballs over 52+ mph and are entirely made of steel for longest lasting use…even the optional auto feeder is steel!
At only 30 lbs, it is super easy to get to and from the field. I have used mine as recently as batting practice last week with 2 of my college pitchers (they still think they can hit… lol). I chose this machine for this workout simply because it was so easy to load into the trunk of my car without risking damage to my back or my trunk.You can use any lightweight or official game leather or rubber dimple baseball (or 11” or 12” softball in our softball-only model).
- Great price and adding $50 gets you the all steel 12 ball autofeeder
- Excellent longevity & price for youth leagues or backyard use
He prides himself as never having charged any player or coach for a single lesson! “This game has been wonderful to my family and has afforded me a lifestyle to instruct any local player or coach who seeks my knowledge without charge!”