'Home-run-proof' windows installed outside of Wrigley Field

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's opening day for baseball and kids and adults alike are ready for all of the action.

"I'm really excited for baseball this year," said 10-year-old Jackson Walker after playing at Chicago Baseball Academy's Lil Slugger's camp.

But playing baseball can come with some risks. Especially if you're near a window.

Asked if he'd ever broken a window, 11-year-old Lucas Peña said, "I mean, yeah. I have by accident while hitting a ball my dad pitched to me. I hit it so hard I broke my dad's window!"

He's not the only one. Remember that monster walk off homer way back in 1996 from Sammy Sosa at Wrigley Field?

Yeah the window behind the stadium never stood a chance.

But now, Pella Windows engineering specialist Matt Waldren says that's changing with new so-called home-run-proof windows.

Waldren said he got in trouble as a kid for breaking windows while playing baseball.

"Now I get paid to do it, so that's pretty cool," he said.

Waldren's tempered glass windows are replacing the normal ones at 1032 West Waveland Avenue. He said he's gone over tons of variables to get this right.

"In terms of the ball coming off the bat, traveling 460 feet, and then hitting a window, figuring out just how the ball is going to impact the window," he said. "The tempering process heats the glass, tightens it up so it makes it a little more flexible in the center, so when the ball hits it, it bounces off."

That's compared to what a baseball usually does to a glass window, like the one Lucas Peña broke!

"Am I gonna get grounded? I don't want to get grounded. How much is it going to cost to replace the window?" he remembered thinking after the incident. "My dad keeps telling me to go out there and be the next Sammy Sosa. And I say, 'OK I'll try my best.'"

He's already off to a good start breaking windows with monster hits.
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