I’ve been spending the last few days in New York City, enjoying the great summer they’ve been having here. When I was here earlier in the year, one of my friends suggested I visit The Baseball Center NYC to try my hand at batting against their automatic pitcher. Unfortunately I ran out of time so the much-anticipated visit had to be delayed until my next trip to New York.
Earlier this week, with view to escape the warmth and humidity outside, my brother and I decided to see if we had what it took to be baseball stars. We arrived at the centre, paid up for a one hour session, and headed downstairs to the cages. I wasn’t sure what to expect. When they mentioned cages, I immediately thought of chicken cages, so I was much relieved when I saw they were about five metres wide and eighteen metres long. At one end was a large green machine housing a basket of balls and an automated pitching arm; at the other end was a triangular marker on the floor.
My brother went first, adjusting his helmet before entering the cage. Boom. The machine threw a ball and it hit the padding attached to the fence. Boom. The machine threw another ball and it hit the fence again. Kenneth was determined to properly hit the ball. The next time he connected, and connected, and connected. After about twenty balls, he had got the swing of things, connecting most balls, and now trying to work out how to direct the ball. Some went way up, others hit the side fence, a few hit the ground before bouncing up. Oh, and that sound. That metallic ping when the bat connected with the ball!
After about twenty minutes, it was my turn and I was nervous. Kenneth got the hang of this so quickly and I didn’t want to be shown up by his natural ability with racquet sports. It took me a few more goes than him before I connected but found the feeling fantastic when I did. Gee, it was good; seeing the ball move towards you, taking a swing, connecting, hearing the ping, and seeing the ball get air.
I want to do it again!