Hi. First post. Love baseball. Live in Tukwila, WA. 39 yrs old.

I'm researching pitching machines for myself. I don't work. Am on disability. So I have free time. I'm researching the machines so I could go hit at real fields.

I would go by myself and sometimes with family and friends. And I think it'd be great if I met people who'd want to join me. I love baseball majorly and would love the exercise. I played up till HS as a pitcher and first baseman. In 8th grade I was considered one of the best first baseman around. Missed my freshman year in HS because I didn't know I could try out for Highline Highschool. I didn't go there buy went to a special school that was part of the HS. If I would have tried out I probably would have made Varsity every year. But missing my freshman year messed up my skills so from sophomore till I graduated I didn't make any team. Mostly just out of shape. Good physical shape just timing wrong and some other stuff was going on in my life. I was a good switch hitter. Natural lefty with more power from left center to right center. Pulled the ball much more right handed which I thought was odd. Throw left handed. I bat right handed in practice only though and always against right handed pitchers.

Sorry. Just a bit of background.

I have several real baseballs and a bat I paid $150 for many years ago. The bat though for some reason doesn't give me the ping sound as good as you hear in college baseball.

I don't know anything about pitching machines. I would like some features if possible at a budget of preferably $1000 and under.

Up to 80 mph but 70 mph is ok.
Gas powered or battery. Won't have a generator.
Auto ball feeder.
Work with real baseballs. If fake then as realistic as possible. Meaning not bouncy. Colored is good if it would be easier to see the ball in the field when I go get them.

I'm not sure what else since I don't know anything really.

I really so much appreciate any advice.
Joe
Original Post

 for about $3.100 you can get into a nice machine that will throw left and right handed curves and sliders and fastballs around 85mph. It has a 20 ball feeder but you will need an electrical source to run it. http://pitchingmachinesale.com...itching-machine.html

 

Jugs makes a machine that sell's for about $1100. I don't know of any gas powered units.

Thanks. I'm talking $1000 at most. No way I'm going to take 3 or more years to save for that $ when just for myself. I don't care about anything special. Not curve etc. it's just for fun. I know a $650 one and $500 I seen. The cheaper going to 85 mph with curves etc. has battery for $329 extra but no feeder. Lite flight or something. Not sure. Seems ok I guess but I know nothing.

Buggs, you state that you are on disability.  That is important to your quest for a machine.  Without knowing your disability, most recommendations will be worthless.  Most of the machines are going to require the ability to lift a heavy object to set up the machine.  At least for ATEC and Jugs.  A used pitching machine might be your best bet and they can be found at places like Play it again sports.  Buggs, something else to think about without knowing your disability, is whether you are physically able to hit, pack, and hookup some of these machines. 

 

A suggestion might be to find a used ATEC Rookie machine but you would still have to find a small generator to run the machine unless you have access to electricity. 

There might be a local guy who runs the little league or the rec program in your town, you could ask them if they know someone who has a used machine you could try out and then purchase. Ask around in your town, someone might be able to help you out. good luck getting some hitting in.

Hi. Thanks for advice.
Mental disability not physical. Just enough to get in my way of some stuff in life. You wouldn't know anything is wrong unless you were around me 24/7 and knew I'd been diagnosed. Fortunately things are in my opinion minor but they add up. ADHD, Aspergers Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Anxiety, Depression. I do fine but not good socially sometimes. Not knowing what to say in certain situations.

Anyway I wondered about renting too. Id love to once for a couple hrs. The $650 machine I mentioned I saw was the Baseline Pitchine Machine I think.

I don't know anything about local leagues or anything that could help but have thought about that too.

Buggs:  I have done a lot of work with kids on the spectrum ... i recommend you look for a "one wheel jugs" that runs on electricity. there are a lot of these out there that are still in good shape. if you have a PA, he or she could set that up and throw balls to you and you would have hours of fun hitting.  try ebay or craigslist in your area... if you tell us what state you are in there might be someone on this message board who would know of someone who could locate a decent machine for you.

No one else? bummer.
Why is it some sites ask $650 for a ball feeder for like 10-12 balls? That's just wrong.

Can I buy a battery that I could use with any machine since they're all just electric power? And also how cheap? How cheap for a generator that would last say 2 hrs?
I'm 39 and serious so a Tee seems childish for me. I like the idea of going to fields. Getting my hit balls gives me exercise. Seeing where I hit is awesome. See if I can hit home runs in fields with fences. Go with friends sometimes. Maybe when I'm by myself people may see me and want to join me. Maybe be able to make friends that way. Maybe even rent it and I go with it.

Just some possible advantages I been thinking of.

I don't mean anything by saying that a Tee is childish. Just I'm a high end guy which in part is a little bit part of one of my mental disabilities.

I may be getting $1050 tomorrow.
The baseline machine for $649 looks ok. Up to 70mph. But no feeder and no way for me to power it.

Is a casey pro non 3G good for $1000? Someone local is wanting to sell it. But his picture shows one wheel and a tripod thing it stands on and when I looked at casey pro non 3G online they all had 2 wheels and looked different. No idea what is what. The retail I think the sellers says is $2200.

Of course I would love to try before I buy as suggested above.

I hear you. 

 

The tee is use daily in high school, college and pro ball.  Pujols takes 1,000 swings off the tee prior to each game.  Just saying it's a good alternative and a great workout.  I still hit off the tee just for fun daily - a good workout for an old guy....

Try these folks for resources: https://pssbl.com

Also, there at slow pitch softball teams in your area that are recreational and there are some that are much more competetive.  There are a lot of "retired" baseball junkies that opt to play recreational and competitive softball.   Try this:  http://forum.usssawa.com 
They have teams that come together based on interests and experience.  You might find a good fit.

Good Luck
Thank you all very much.

I may be coming into some money today. $1050. So I'm hoping I could find something.

I tried contacting a few local cages and training facilities but haven't heard from anyone in days. One tho got back to me and didn't help at all.

I have some questions I hope can be responded to soon.

Do I need something that goes to 70 mph to 80 mph or is slower ok? I would like 80mph but that's like in a perfect money no object thing I guess. I'm not sure how slow like 45-60 or 70mph is.
What about power? Battery and generator? Last maybe 2 hrs or so.
Real baseballs and fake.
Ball feeder.

So far I seen baseline put bing machine. $650. 70 mph. No feeder or battery. But I would think you can get them.

Heater something that has a feeder but no battery or generator. That's extra. About $500-$650 for this one. The heater one has a 30 day money back if I'm not satisfied.

I'm not sure about Jugs. I haven't seen one for real baseballs.

Any ideas for my budget?
Hi. Here's an update.
Zooka. Has built in battery, 65-70mph etc. www.zooka.com. They're about 45 minutes away from me! Wooooooo whooooooo!! I like everything about it. From the videos I've seen and their website info.

I'm curious for everyones input on this. Even if you never used it I'm curious.

And what else would be good for $1050 max with feeder and battery or generator. I know those be external probably.

Thanks.

I have used one of those machines, but it was just once or twice, years ago. A youth coach I knew asked me help out, and showed me how to use it for batting practice.  I thought it was a piece of junk. It took forever to charge up and throw.  I put it aside and threw BP myself.  Much better.

 

Since you're pleading for advice, I will give you some.

 

Do not waste $1000 or more on a pitching machine. It's not that much fun hitting off of one, and it's no fun at all picking up the balls afterwards. Players use them to get a lot of cuts in quickly, especially in the off-season, but it's not that much fun, and not all that useful.

 

If I was you, instead I would:

 

  1. Find a men's 30 or 40+ baseball team. That would be 100 times more fun.
  2. Find a men's fast pitch softball team. That would be at least 50 times more fun.
  3. Find a co-ed or men's slow pitch softball team. That would also be 50 times more fun.
  4. Take $10  and go to the local batting cage and hit there. That would be 10 times more fun and 100 times cheaper.
Thanks.
You seem angry.
That seems biased like you have something against pitching machines. I've seen it in videos and it does not take long to toss the ball when one is put in it.

As I said before I don't mind getting the balls. Good exercise. I love hitting and have been to batting cages and I enjoyed them.
There's a 30 day money back so if I don't like it ill just return it.

I would love to play hardball not softball. There should be a hardball league for adults like there is softball and if not that's a shame.

I'm not going to post in here anymore since no one cares. Bye.
I got a Zooka ZS740 with auto loader and 12 5 ounce yellow dimple balls 2 days ago. Wednesday. It's absolutely awesome looking and major easy to connect the loader to the gun and gun to the tripod. No need for instructions it's incredible. 30lbs is all the machine and tripod weighs.

I drove there and the guy there was so nice he offered me the loader for $50-$60 off because it had a very tiny bow on the very back of it. Which was fixed by just pushing it in slightly. He saved me a total of $60.95. Got everything for $1k.

It took me about only 5 minutes to unbox it and sit the gun/machine on the tripod. The hardest part for me was trying to figure out how to open the 3 tripod legs haha. The loader was just as easy and self explanatory. It's amazingly easy. I call the machine a gun because that's exactly what it looks like. Like a futuristic laser gun. Haha.

You're supposed to leave it plugged in at all times when not using it. It's got a regulator thing computer software thing that knows when to charge and stop. It's automatic. When I plugged it in it shows on the LED display screen two lines -- and evaluates the battery for a few minutes then tells you the percentage charge. It said 95. So after a little bit it was at 100.

I haven't used it yet cus of the absolute crap weather in Washington state. Here in tukeila we've had way more rain in the first 5 days of May then the entire month of may for years. It's rained pretty much many many hrs everyday.

Anyway I can't wait to try it on Sunday or Monday cus we deposed to get more crummy rain today/Saturday.
Hi. Tried out the Zooka ZS740 yesterday.
Pertty cool. Quiet! Real baseballs not very accurate so I may return it. It spins the balls which is good. But sometimes they're all over the place. Like one pitch can drop a foot in front of home plate. Hit the ground. The next pitch was high and outside. Now that's horrible! Then the next pitch can be in the strike zone. Just not consistent. Dimple balls much better but sometimes out of strike zone by many inches and then in strike zone.

Fun tho mostly.

My bat is a 34" Easton. -5. What does -5 mean? Is that good?

You'll pretty much have the same results with any machine if you try to use real balls  - not able to launch consistently due to the seams.  There are some balls made for machines that are just like real balls but very low seams. 

 

-5 means the bat is 5 ounces less than the length.  So, your 34" bat weighs 29 oz.

 

 

Buggs, you can get a 1 wheel Jugs machine in your area off Craig's list. ( I saw a couple of them on there). they throw real baseballs and they throw good strikes. get one with short legs (3) and it will be easy to handle and set up.

this is what I would do anyway; that zooka is too expensive if it doesn't throw 95% strikes.  good luck

Thank you.
I need power though and an auto feeder that allows you to set the delay between pitches to at least 10 seconds or so. I want to be able to admire my hits. Eg watch the ball. And up to 65mph to 70 mph from the mound.

I didn't see any on Craig's list like this. And I only saw one one wheel jugs for I forget.

I realized with the Zooka it wasn't that accurate. It might be in the 90% range with dimple balls but probably not with real balls. I tried it for a couple hrs with a friend yesterday. We manually loaded the balls.

I tried it with the auto loader today in his yard. 40mph or a bit slower. I only had it pitch. No batter. I wanted to try the auto loader. The pitch delay was about 3-5 seconds and that was way to fast if I was batting. I read the delay depends on pitch speed and angle. You can't manually change it. Max delay Zooka told me was about 6-6.5 seconds between pitches. That's to fast for me.

Plus I have to make two trips when by myself. I can't carry everything from my truck to a field in one go. I need to figure out a way to make some kind of a cart or something to help.
I tried the Zooka again today. Wow. Not nearly accurate enough with real balls or dimple. It sucks. I set it up with the auto feeder. Took over 20 balls to get accurate enough to try hitting. When I hit I was almost hit once. Several balls landed in front of the plate. Several we're high and outside. Out of 35 or so I got maybe 4 good hits. That doesn't mean that only 4 pitches were accurate. I am guessing but accuracy seemed less then 70%. 52-55mph about 58 feet from the plate. I'm returning it.

It's too much for me to carry all in one trip by myself from my truck to field.  so I'm not getting another machine unless I have a cart for it. I don't know what I could use to haul a pitching machine, fewer and tripod. Portable. No idea.

I was offered by a company the baseline pitching machine and auto feeder. But I still need a battery and don't know what kind to get or where. I don't think any field I would go to has an electricle outlet near.
Hi. Here's a quick test video I made of a pitching machine.

http://youtu.be/8S8qwjmTYaU

It's 27 seconds.

Please check it out on you tube and please in this thread let me know what you think of it. Please. I will have a couple more test videos on you tube in a few minutes and I will post the links here. I would appreciate all of you so much if you could give feedback. Please. Thank you all.
Here's the rest of the test videos. Please watch them all except I suppose the first one is not necessary as it doesn't show balls being pitched. It's for reading speed only.

Test 5. Dimple balls aim up, sorta ok.
http://youtu.be/yBMDEC1hvqA

Test 6. Real balls aim up not that great.
http://youtu.be/9O2Ii3ocJ_8

Pitching machine test 1.
Show speed, angle, where it is next to mound.
http://youtu.be/vg1gryBGC7Q

Pitching machine test 2. Same as 1 but now you see it pitch.
http://youtu.be/WDKWZt2kXjw

Test 3. Same as 1 and 2 but with real balls.
http://youtu.be/j6xcoC6VqjA

Test 4. Same as before but manual a couple.
http://youtu.be/qCTexfJzkpA

Hey, I just want to recommend a pitching machine I bought a few months back for the kids to improve their batting skills, it's the Hack Attack pitching machine from made by Sports Attack. So far its really accurate even with real baseballs and my kids are just having a blast with bp. I got this machine for a good price from https://pitchprodirect.com/ they offer free shipping so I guess it was at a good price. The machine itself has 3 wheels for better accuracy and the speed of the throws are probably at a 100 MPH which is really good for practice.

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