A few months back, I got a call about pitching machines… like the ones you load up and the machine automatically feeds and delivers. I’m not a big fan of these things … so there wasn’t much I could contribute to the fact-finding, except some brand names that have been around for years.
However, after suggesting some caution when using these devices, I repeatedly got back… “oh really”, “oh, I didn’t know that”… so on and so forth.
That conversation prompted me to post this about pitching machines.
Pitching machines are ELECTRICAL DEVICES that spin feeders and friction wheels or swing arms that deliver a PITCHING MACHINE BALL. There are also spring loaded devices, but their application is limited. Nevertheless… these spring loaded pitching machines require a ton of caution.
Here are some DON’TS with the electrical pitching machines.
Don’t hook up multiple extension cords across your playing field for
a power source.
Don’t operate these machines if your not an employee of the club or
Don’t trust the instruction manuals alone … get instruction before using.
Don’t trust the weight of the machine alone to keep it secure and in place.
Don’t allow the machine to rock, sway, tilt, or shake during operation.
Don’t feed balls while in the pitching mode.
Don’t use old game balls, regular BP baseballs, water soaked balls.
Don’t use any balls BUT THE BALLS DESIGNED FOR THE MACHINE.
If you use a baseball not designed for the machine, the machine can deliver a curve ball UP AND IN just when you least expect it.
Don’t put a catcher in play.
Don’t throw balls back to the area where the machine is set up while the
machine is in operation.
Don’t set the machine at a high speed just to surprise a batter. (joking around)
Don’t go on the cheap by not scheduling maintenance inspections at least once during the season.
Don’t store the machine where it will be crammed in with other stuff.
This is a sensitive machine with settings – don’t stack stuff on it or against it.
Don’t use the pitching machine balls for anything else.
Don’t let the season go by without inspecting the dimples on the pitching
machine balls. These dimples insure a true flight so there shouldn’t be and
irregular surface marks. For machine balls without dimples, insure the same even contour on the ball’s surface.
ONLY PURCHASE TOP OF THE LINE MACHINES – DON’T GO CHEAP.
IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD THE SAFE WAY … THEN STAY AWAY.