Life-sized virtual pitcher winds up, fires away

April 28, 2011 4:49:56 AM PDT
ABC7's Frank Mathie fulfilled a dream Wednesday, batting against major-league pitching.

The Pure Fitness training center in Homer Glen, which is just a few months old, introduced Pro Batter, which adds new realism to the old-fashioned batting cage. Video of a life-sized pitcher winds up and fires the ball at you.

"We have a minor league pitcher on there right now, throwing, but we can put little league pitchers as well as major league pitchers on there," said Dave Krohe, owner Pure Fitness, LLC.

On Wednesday, 10- and 11-year-old Bronco leaguers hit pitches of about 45 miles an hour. But for the big guys, the fast ball hits 85. The kids love it and they're learning.

"To put your hands on the ball quicker and to swing harder through the ball," Alex Croft, New Lenox Rebels, said.

Pro Batter costs $60 an hour. Some coaches bring their whole teams to cut down on the cost- and bring up the batting average.

"During the off season if you don't have a place where we can throw a ball at you this is the next best thing," Krohe said.

How did ABC7's Frank Mathie do? Well, after strike 20, he quit counting.

Pure Fitness
14901 Founders Crossing
Homer Glen, IL 60491
(708) 260-4111