What kind of ball should you use with your pitching machine? It is a common question, with a simple answer: Pitching Machine Baseballs. Regulation size pitching machine baseballs are designed to deliver a very constant pitch and have better wear factors than any other type of baseball when used in baseball pitching machines. Unique Sports carries a full line of pitching machine balls to cover every need for indoor and outdoor use.
Regulation “Real Leather” Baseballs: Regulation real leather baseballs can be used in baseball pitching machines however they will not pitch as consistent as a pitching machine baseball. This is a fact that many coaches like as it simulates a real pitch with location changes each time. Regulation real leather balls also have a shorter lifespan. In addition they tend to transfer material to the wheel(s) or throwing pads. This material transfer may cause a build up to develop on the throwing surfaces. Material build up, if left un-checked can affect performance of the pitching machine but can be controlled by removing it with #60 sandpaper or emery cloth. This should be done on an “as needed” basis at the time the material buildup is detected.
DO NOT USE SYNTHETIC LEATHER BASEBALLS!! Synthetic leather baseballs were not designed to be used in pitching machines and may leave a massive amount of buildup on the throwing surfaces of the machine, effecting pitching machine performance. Many Synthetics also have a harder core then a Regulation Real Leather baseball which makes the ball give less when it is being pitched. This can drastically affect the pitching accuracy. When using real baseballs, use only regulation leather balls.
Ball Consistency: In order to assure accuracy, the baseballs being used should be of the same type, wear and manufacturer. A pitching machine will only be as consistent as the baseballs being used: