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Local News / Sports

Tuesday, 29 September, 2009 12:31 PM

Westland's Skill Builder Batter's Box and ProBatter Sports Delivers Perfect Game with Pitching Simulator

Photo credit: SSA Public Relations

Skill Builder Batter’s Box is located at 37828 Ford Road, Westland, Michigan 48185, telephone (734) 776-0458.

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

WESTLAND, Mich. -- Whether you're a hitter or a catcher, the Probatter pitching simulation -- the PS2 -- will give budding ball players the ability to test their mettle as, according to ProBatter Sports’ publicist, Elliott Chang, "virtual reality meets reality."

“Baseball is the most traditional of the major team sports," states the 53-year-old, who represents ProBatter through SSA Public Relations, a Los Angeles-based company. “It’s similar to the experience of sitting in an airplane flight simulator" he continues. "You can work out the kinks and when you make a mistake, you don’t crash!”

Or, in this case, it's not three strikes and you're out, for at the Skill Builder Batters Box Baseball Training Center in Westland, it is a projected image of pitchers during their prime as an opportunity for players from Little League to colleges such as the University of Michigan and Michigan State University -- both of which have ProBatter simulators in hopes of keeping up with one another the next time they're on the field.

“We’ve already received tremendous feedback on the ProBatter system,” said Ed Condon, owner of Skill Builder Batter’s Box. “Baseball is a very difficult game to master and ProBatter really helps batters with their fundamentals. Timing is the key to hitting success and the simulator allows them to face the equivalent of live pitching -- something that has not been possible with ordinary pitching machines. ProBatter is actually better than a human batting practice pitcher in many ways. It’s much more accurate and it never gets tired.”

Skill Builder Batter’s Box opened last year as the go-to facility for serious baseball and softball training in the area. The 9,700 square-foot indoor center offers seven hitting tunnels, including one dedicated to the ProBatter system, and two lanes configurable for pitching, tee-work and fielding drills. In addition, the facility provides hitters with the ability to breakdown their swing with the ProMirror video analysis system.

"Its primary purpose is to train," Chang said. "Instead of a guy throwing at you, it's the simulator. This machine can pitch at speed up to 100 mph. If a human pitcher can throw at that rate, they'd be making $10-15 million dollars a year."

The Boston Red Sox, the Cleveland Indians, and the New York Yankees are several of the six major league clubs that are using the PS2 -- including Alex Rodriguez, who likes it, as the Yankees are the Green Bay Packers and Lakers of baseball with 26 titles.

"These teams wouldn't buy this machine if they thought it wasn't successful," Chang comments. However, our beloved Detroit Tigers is one of the two dozen teams that doesn't have the ProBatter simulation, for they'd rather remain old school. "In all sports – football, baseball -- the only way to get better is to face the best competition. There's no right or wrong here. It's about philosophy" Chang goes on. "Once people see it, they'll dig it."

For more information, visit www.skillbuilderbattersbox.com or www.probatter.com.

 

Photo credit: SSA Public Relations

There are many user levels to choose from.

 

Photo credit: SSA Public Relations

Similar in approach to an aircraft flight simulator, the ProBatter system combines proprietary video and computer technology to recreate the experience of facing live pitching in a closed environment.

 

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