Today, in 1896 (1897, according to other sources), the first pitching machine was introduced. The machine reportedly caused some injuries, but it was the beginning of something that became common in baseball practice.
Created by Professor Charles E. Hinton of Princeton University, this machine is being demonstrated in the university gymnasium. The math instructor’s device resembled a rifle that shot the ball at the batter.
The injury caused by the machine may have been one of the reasons Hinton was released from Princeton that year. After that, Hinton succeeded in introducing the machine to the University of Minnesota and worked as an assistant professor until 1900.
But despite the injury, the machine was versatile. By using two rubber-coated steel fingers on the muzzle of the pitcher, he was able to fire baseball at various speeds and even throw a curved ball.
In the decades that followed, several pitching machines were invented, but the ones that stopped working were those with spinning wheels. Some machines have one wheel, while others have two wheels that can “throw” the braking pitch.
Anyway, as written in the prologue, pitching machines have become a common item in batting practice. It can also be used to fire a ball into the outfield, just as the outfielder can swing the flyball.
– MLB Sports
First pitching machine introduced – Dutch baseball hangout
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