Go to a Batting Cage

Never been to a batting cage. Wasn’t really sure what that would be like. Aside from playing T-ball as a seven year old and then hitting golf balls with a baseball bat from the bluff of Fort Humboldt out over the freeway to try to hit the Bayshore Mall, I didn’t play baseball.

The other day my friend, Clay, and I went to the batting cages in Burbank (Batcade) and spent around half an hour swinging at bright yellow balls. The first 15-minute session we took turns hitting 40mph pitches. This was mostly because we couldn’t figure out how to change the speeds during the sessions (pro-tip: hit the red button that has the text next to it that makes it sound like it will cancel your entire session…). During the next 15-minute session, we knew how to change speeds, so Clay upped to 60mpg and I threw caution to the wind and cranked it to the top speed: 70mph. While I did get a couple hits, none were captured on video (I’ll include a clip of at least foul-tips). Clay did great at 70mph, incidentally. I ‘m going to mark this one as ‘done’, but I’d like to go back and try again. While I got some solid hits, not getting any on video seems like cheating.

Difficulty: Easy-to-moderate. First of all, you need to live somewhere that has batting cages. Secondly, you need enough dexterity to hit a ball. While I excel at the first point, I was mediocre (at best) at the latter.

Lessons Learned:

  • Explore the hidden gems of your town – I’d driven by these batting cages for YEARS without ever stopping in for a try. I’m much more likely to try unfamiliar restaurants than I am to check-out a weird museum down the street. I read somewhere that you should always explore your hometown like a tourist and while that advice doesn’t fit by the letter, there is some common spirit here.
  • Competition can inspire – While I wasn’t in competition with Clay per se, I also didn’t want to come off as being bad, either. Trying something with someone who is better than you are can be demoralizing if they are way too far out of your league, but accompanying someone who is better than you, but seemingly reachable, is inspiring.