PROBATTER UP!

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PROBATTER UP!
On deck: GregoryJ. Battersby,vice presidentof salesand marketing,and MarkCandela,regionalsalesmanager,checkout the batting
cageat ProBatterSportsin Milford."Wecurrentlyhave13 patentsin the UnitedStates,"Battersbysays.
UP!
PROBATTER
pitchingsystems
area bighit
company's
Milford-based
-;ff'lftiiliil;
Y*HHill
WHAT ProBatterSports is a S-year-old
the batting
companyset to revolutionize
cage with its ProBattercomputerized
video pitchingsystem.The ProBatter
that deliversthe
i .o.". ""
simulatesreal-lifebaseballpitchingat any
pitch,a videoscreen
level- from 40 mph for LittleLeaguersto
, r;.'
with a livevideo
100 mph for MajorLeagueBaseball
imageand projectorand touch-control
players.The formerNorwalkbusiness
recentlymovedto a bigger,6,O0O-square- panelby home plate."Onefeaturethat has
reallygotteninto the marketplaceis its
foot locationat 15 Old Gate Road in
sophisticatedtouch-controlpanelthat is
Milford.For more information.call
set uo to work in threemodes,which can
87 4-2500,or visit www.probatter.com.
be determinedby the user,"Battersbysaid.
WHO: Kent Communicationsand Stahl
THREEMODES:The ProBatter
RealEstateare the majorfinanciersof
seriesallowsthe batterto
Professional
ProBatterSports,which is owned by
patent lawyers GregoryJ. Battersbyand
customizehis oitch selectionbasedon
CharlesW. Grimes,both of Stamford,and three programmablemodes."Thefirst
mode allowsthe batterto selecton a
Gregg Wolped, of Stahl Real Estate."We
pitch-by-pitchbasiswherehe can control
currentlyhave 13 patentsin the United
the type of pitch ffastball,sinker,cutter,
Statesand havependingpatent
splitter,curve,sliderand change-upl,
applicationsin everycountrythat plays
'100mph], locationof the
speed [up to
baseball,"said Battersby,a former
'baseball
product
pitch
videoimage- fullwind-up
and
the
line
includes
coach.Their
or stretchmode, and left-handedor rightthe ProBatterProfessionalSeries,
handedpitcher,"Battersbysaid. "The
Softball
ProBatterll, Professional
Simulator,Tunnelsto Go, ProBatterSmart secondmode can set up a sequenceof
pitchesdeterminedby the batter,or they
Card and ProBatterScoringSystem.The
can havethe computerchoosea random
privatecompanyhas eight employees;
mode.The third mode is random,where
they declinedto revealyearlysales.
each pitch will be differentto simulatea
game situation- a 92-mphfastball,
lT'S ELECTRO:"ProBatteris a high{ech
78-mph curve or change-up."
electromechanicalsystem that deliversa
pitch through a state-of-the-artprojector,"
Battersbysaid."lt's a computer-controlled BIG LEAGUE:"Rightnow we havefour
pitchingmachinethat can throw any pitch majorleagueclubs usingthe system:
Boston Red Sox, ChicagoWhite Sox, New
a humancan."The unitsare considered
York Mets and ClevelandIndians,"said
and weigharound600
semipermanent
pounds.Eachsystemcomeswith a control Battersby,who is going aftercolleges,
becausethereare only 30 majorleague
clubs. "We also sold the systemto some
individualplayerslikeTrot Nixonof the
Red Sox, who bought it a coupleof
seasonsago beforehis breakoutseason,
and Jason Giambiof the Yankeesjust
boughtthe system." Privateplayershave
had the systeminstalledat theirtraining
facilities,but the companyis also starting
to sell home units."We'redoing a mass
mailingto affluentareaswherethey have
the moneyand space [60-footrun and 8foot ceilingslto havethe systeminstalled."
FormerMets managerBobby Valentine
boughtthe systemand had it installedin
Japan,wherehis team won the Japanese
WorldSeries.ProBatterseriescost
$18,000for ProBatterll to $70,000for
ProBatterProfessional.
COMMERCIALCAGES:ProBatter's
biggestclientsremaincommercialbatting
cages,which numbermorethan 15,000in
the UnitedStates."Battingcage owners
can rentthe system,and if they drop their
pitchesfrom 20 to 15 for the same price of
$2, tney will coverthe cost of the rental
without losingany money,"Battersbysaid.
A new nichefor the companyis having
commercialbattingcages used by
orofessionalbaseballclubs for their fans.
"We have battingcagesat TurnerFieldfor
the AtlantaBravesand Coors Fieldfor the
ColoradoRockies,wherethe fans are
allowedto use the cage," Battersbysaid.
"What'shappeningis kids go down to the
cage and get to bat againsta video image
pitcher
forthati,'fl:,;;"_r"
ofthestarlins

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