First Pitch Pitching Machine Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I set up a First Pitch Machine?
- What type of balls are best to use
- What is the difference beween the First Pitch original and the First Pitch XL?
- Do I need to buy anything additional to use all the features of the machine?
- What is it that sets the First pitch apart from other pitching machines?
- How does the Baseline machine compare to other machines on the market?
- At what distance is the speed measured?
- What do I do if I am not getting a good pitch from a new machine?
- What do I do if my new Baseline vibrates like mad right out of the box?
- Is my First Pitch warranty transferable?
- What kind of generator do I need to use with my First Pitch machine?
- Is there a battery pack available for my First Pitch machine?
How do I set up a First Pitch Machine?
- Insert legs until buttons snap in place
- Install ball tube for proper size ball with small wing nut on top
- Inflate tire 17-20 psi
- Tighten lug nuts
- Adjust skid plate with power off to approximately 1/4″
- Pitch angle is adjusted with large wing nut near bottom
- Adjust speed and angle of pitch
What type of balls are best to use?
Both the First Pitch and Baseline Machines will throw any kind of baseball or softball. Regular stitched balls work well and the dimple balls are also a good choice. Softer foam balls are good for indoor practice but if they are lighter they may not throw as fast. The important thing to remember is that all the balls should be the same and in similar condition for consistent pitches
What is the difference between the First Pitch original and the First Pitch XL?
Both of these machines have the same motor and controller and for the most part are the same. There are three basic differences. First whereas the original has longer legs for baseball and shorter legs for softball, The XL has legs that pivot within the machine so that only one set of legs is required. Secondly while the original will tip forward for ground balls and back to throw fly balls or high arc pitches, the XL will do all this plus it will tip all the way back to throw pop flies. The Third difference is that the XL has a 360-degree swivel feature.
Do I need to buy anything additional to use all the features of the machine?
No all three machines come with the ball tubes for baseball and softball. The baseline has reversible legs for baseball and softball and the XL has legs that adjust for baseball or softball. The only exception is that the First Pitch Original comes with long legs for baseball or short legs for softball, or you can order it with both for an extra 39.50
What is it that sets the First pitch apart from other pitching machines?
The First Pitch original and the First Pitch XL both carry a full five-year warranty. The Motor is a 1/3 HP U.S. made motor, which is more powerful than most machines on the market. But more significant than that, is the construction of the motor. It features a 7/8-inch Diameter shaft and a 1-inch bearing. Only one other machine offers this durability and that machine cost hundreds of dollars more.
How does the Baseline machine compare to other machines on the market?
The Baseline pitching machines was acquired by First Pitch in 2007. We have since made some improvements to the machine and offer it at a very competitive price. The machine comes with ball feed tubes for baseball and softball. It has reversible legs to set the machine higher for baseball or lower for softball. The Baseline offers a full 360-degree swivel, and will tip forward for ground balls and all the way back for pop ups and anywhere in between. The Baseline machine offers all of the versatility of the First Pitch XL in a smaller low cost machine. The Baseline, just like all the other First Pitch machines, has a five year warranty that includes accidental damage during normal use.
At what distance is the speed measured?
The speed is measured with a radar gun at sixty feet, measuring the speed of the ball as it exits the machine. Of course the ball is moving as the radar gun is measuring it but the speed is measured close to the machine as it is when measuring the speed of a live pitch.
What do I do if I am not getting a good pitch from a new machine?
There are a couple of things to check. First, check the tire pressure and make sure that it is between 17 and 20 pounds of pressure. Second, make sure that the skid plate (this is the plate that the tire pushes the ball against to throw it) is set low enough that the tire gets a good pinch on the ball. The space between the tire and the skid plate should be one quarter to one half inch smaller than the balls you are using. Third, try scuffing the tire with some fine grade sandpaper. New tires sometimes have what we call a “shine” on them (it almost looks like a varnish). A tire with a little wear on it pitches better than a new out of the box.
What do I do if my new Baseline vibrates like mad right out of the box?
Baselines are shipped with the tire unattached and the consumer does have to put the tire on the machine. This tire needs to be attached with the lug nuts we supplied. Please make sure to put the lug nuts on with the tapered side towards the rim. This locks down the wheel, just like it does on your car tires. If you have the flat side of the lug nuts facing towards the rim, your tire is going to vibrate like crazy.
Is my First Pitch warranty transferable?
Yes. We believe that allowing a transfer of the warranty helps to hold the value of our machines even when they are used.
What kind of generator do I need to use with my First Pitch machine?
For the 1-wheel machines, you need a 1000 watt generator; for the 2-wheel machines (including the Curveball machine and the Quarterback Football machine), you need a 1500 watt generator.
Is there a battery pack available for my First Pitch machine?
First Pitch does not make a portable battery pack, but you can use an 800-watt power inverter with a car or deep cycle boat battery to form your own portable battery pack. Be sure to follow all instructions and use carefully.
- Matt Kiley