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Discussion: Pitching machine

Posted Discussion
Sept. 16
Z Man
Men's 60
20 posts
Any recommendations for a pitching machine?
Sept. 16
Fred S
Men's 85
297 posts
IMO for the money the Wheeler Dealer is the best. I have been using one for over 10 yrs. Very durable, easy to carry and setup. http://www.athlonic.com/. Direct Sports has the best price. Paid $317.00 for the one I have now. Presently have 60-75,000 hits on my current one. I use mine every day that weather allows all year round.
Sept. 16
DieselDan
Men's 75
605 posts
Fred,
It states electronic height control is -1 to 6'. Will this be enough to get softballs up to 10/11 feet, or do you have to put something under the WD to get a realistic height? Thanks.
Sept. 17
Fred S
Men's 85
297 posts
No you will get the max of about 6' with 52's. Also will depend on what balls you use. It likes leather covered best. Worth ProTrac and Classic M's don't work that well but the Classic + works good.
I usually lift the front end a little to get a longer toss, but by doing this I lose a little height. I put it about 6' in front off the plate in line with the pitching mound. There is a little trick of putting a 1 - 1 1/2" spring on the plunger to get another foot or two.
Sept. 17
softball4b
Men's 70
1250 posts
Louisville Slugger UPM 45 Blue Flame Pitching Machine

No electricity needed.
Sept. 17
Fred S
Men's 85
297 posts
The big thing for me with the WD is I don't need anyone to come down with me for BP which is why I basically bought it. I can't find another nut to come down to the field with me everyday.
Sept. 18
Jon44
Men's 55
149 posts
I have both a blue flame and a wheeler dealer. The wheeler dealer is great when I hit alone. It does not require anyone to be with me and it's better than a pop toss because it allows you to queue up around 10 softballs. It is a soft toss machine, so it's not like a true pitch, so be aware of that. I have a small platform I built to put it on so the pitches are higher. I didn't like using it without a platform that I built because it does not kick the ball up high enough for me (I am 6'6"). The wheeler Dealer requires charging, but it holds the charge very well and is good for multiple sessions on a single charge.

The blue flame is awesome for batting practice with someone. We have the blue flame dialed in where it throws a perfect strike. It has to be operated by someone, but requires no electricity and there typically are no balls behind the plate after each person hits like you would get when someone else is pitching. Perfect strike every time.

I don't like using the wheeler dealer closer to a tournament. Because it's a soft toss machine, it messes a bit with timing for me. Others might have a different feeling. Both are great, but for different purposes. Both are cumbersome to lug around-- that's about the only negative I see with both.
Oct. 3
bkb555

301 posts
I got a blue flame and have used it 3 sessions for BP...the guys LOVE it....best , most consistent BP I have ever had....no complaining, anyone can operate it and it is very portable....I wish I had gotten it years ago
Oct. 4
Fred S
Men's 85
297 posts
Z Man:

Softballfans.com has a sale on 11" Leather softballs for $25.00 doz that go well with a WD. With those babies you will get 7-8' height. Gives you a false sense of distance but good for getting your timing down.
Oct. 9
bkb555

301 posts
After 2 solid weeks of Hitting, the Nkue Flame is a resounding success....we have had 15 different hitters use it and all said how great it is to just hit...there aren't a lot of good BP PITCHERS on our teams, so they aren't really as productive as they could be....i would say if 1000 pitches were thrown by the machine, 980 were hittable pitches...to replicate that success with out pitching would be impossible plus each round per batter can pitch 30 pitches in 5 minutes...thats a lot of good productive BP and a lot of happy players
Oct. 10
Jon44
Men's 55
149 posts
The blue flame is awesome- we did make one modification. We have put a small spacer under the front two stakes lifting the front a bit to provide a true arc. Previous to doing this the pitch was great to hit, but flatter than we normally see in a tourney (at least ours was). This small 1" pvc spacer really helped out a bunch.

A friend just found one at his local walmart and paid under $25 for the blue flame pitching machine, which is unreal ($179 usually). It was on clearance for some reason. I am not saying you will be as lucky as he was, but if you happen to be in a local walmart, it wouldn't hurt to go check the sporting goods section... you might have a pleasant surprise waiting for you.
Oct. 11
softball4b
Men's 70
1250 posts
I drilled holes in a 2x4 and bought some tent spikes to stabilize and raise pitching height.
Oct. 11
mad dog
Men's 65
4191 posts
i had no problem getting mine to give a 8-12' arc with 50' distance.....just need to tinker with the settings.....pitch level at 5......power at 3.....seem to get the best arc and distance for me with 12" softballs.
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