Play Ball! Baseball gadgets to improve skills, safety

April 12, 2011 10:22:25 AM PDT
It's baseball season once again, and a great chance for kids to get out of the house and play some ball!

New baseball gadgets and gear provide easy, fun ways to improve on skills ranging from learning to hit a ball, up to a machine that throws curve and fastballs. Safety is still a necessity, so it is important for children to have the right safety items as well. Below are some products recommended by Sports Authority.

1). EvoShield Protective Gear (Wrist Guard, Elbow Guard, Leg Guard)
Description: custom-molding protective gear made from breathable neoprene that provides comfortable compression and impact dispersion technology. Insert the air-activated pads into the pockets of the guards and the guards mold to your body. $21.99 - $54.99

2). XO Athletic Youth Heartshield
Description: Get effective and comfortable heart protection with the XO Athletic youth HeartShield. It helps protect young athletes from Commotio Cordis, a rare but often fatal condition resulting from a hard projectile striking the heart center between beats. $34.99

3). Rawlings Low Profile Batting Helmet
Description: The Rawlings low-profile batting helmet keeps you safe with a high-impact ABS shell and included faceguard. Its low-profile design provides a better fit and feel than traditional-shaped helmets, while the Pro Dri Plus lining wicks away moisture and kills bacteria to keep you cool and comfortable. $27.99

4). Shock Doctor DNA Nano Mouthguard
Description: The Shock Doctor DNA Nano mouthguard features a tough exterior and a soft, comfortable interior to keep you protected. It features a soft Gel-Fit liner that custom molds to your teeth for a tight, comfortable fit. The monocoque frame vertical wall extensions help prevent jaw injuries caused by side impacts, while the upper/lower molar cushions help protect against concussions. $19.99

1). Hit-A-Way PTS
Description: The Hit-A-Way PTS is a portable batting trainer consisting of a sturdy pop-up/collapsible pole with attached ball that twists back to the hitter like a tetherball, allowing players to hit the ball and have it wrap around the pole and unwrap to the hitting position again nearly immediately. Ball height is easily adjusted anywhere along the 5 foot pole base. 149.99

2). Lightning Bolt Pro
Description: Automatically pitches soft practice balls 30 mph 25 feet with realistic flight. 5 second delay between pitches, to give solid repetition training.

Holds up to 26 balls at a time. Runs on batteries or with included AC adapter. Helps improve visual acuity and hitting accuracy. Angle adjusts for different pitching location. Includes 12 soft micro Bolt Balls. Foam balls are 5.125 inches round and weigh 0.2 ounces. $59.99

All baseball safety products available at Sports Authority. To find a store, visit