New Spinball Wizard 240V Two Wheel Cricket Bowling Machine - Free Shipping to Europe, Australia, and most other locations.
- Comes with Australian Plug / Other plugs and adapters are available for additional cost
Throws any pitch from any angle
Speed range: 25-105 mph baseball and cricket, 25-88 mph softball
Baseball, softball, cricket, and combination versions available
Throws real balls or dimpled machine balls
Rugged steel frame but machine weighs just 58 lbs (baseball configuration)
(2) 1/4 hp custom motors with oversized stainless steel shafts
All stainless steel fasteners
Tough powder coat finish
Five year warranty
Made entirely in the USA
We are the manufacturer of this machine and would be happy to answer any questions about it. Full details are available at www.spinballsports.com.
The Spinball Wizard features a versatile design that allows the basic machine to be used for baseball, softball, or cricket. Three available sets of legs create three different release heights: 24" for softball, 48" for baseball, or 48"-80" (adjustable) for cricket. We call the cricket machine "The Big Unit" when using it for baseball, but it's the exact same machine. The single adjustment clamp makes setup quick and easy- all three angles (horizontal, vertical, and twist) are set at once, and won't shake loose under vibration. The machine can be rotated to throw pitches from any angle to simulate right or left handed pitchers as well as throwing grounders and fly balls. Don't let the price fool you- it's a real machine that throws real balls really fast.
Flexibility - Every machine starts out as a combination machine. The only differences between the baseball, softball, and cricket machines are the legs and the ball feeder tubes. Single use machines can easily be upgraded to combination machines later by purchasing the appropriate upgrade kit. The motors are mounted on slots to allow modification of the distance between wheels. This design allows for major adjustments between baseball and softball use as well as for minor corrections for wheel tread wear and ball type.
Top Quality Wheels - Spinball wheel tread is thicker and more durable than any other manufacturer's. ATEC wheel tread is only 3/8" thick at the center. BATA wheels are rubber, not urethane, and only 3/4" thick. Spinball wheels are 1" thick top grade urethane for better pitch accuracy and longer wheel life.
Leg Installation: Spinball legs easily slide into the sockets on the machine base and a spring loaded button locks them in place. Baseball and softball legs can be swapped in just seconds.
Ball and Socket Adjustment Mechanism - All three axes are set at once - horizontal, vertical, and twist. Adjustment is quick, easy, and won't shake loose under vibration. The simplicity of this frame design reduces machine weight significantly.
Independent wheel speed controls - Each wheel's speed is set independently for infinite adjustability of pitch speed and break. Speed setting is shown directly on the control box. The competition's digital readouts add complexity and cost without improving accuracy.
Throws any pitch from any angle - A thrown ball curves in the direction of its spin. The faster the spin, the more it curves. Fastballs have backspin, which cause them to rise, or at least fall slower than they otherwise would. Sinkers and curves have topspin, causing them to drop. Knuckleballs ideally have no spin at all and move randomly. By adjusting the wheel speeds and the angle of the machine, the Spinball Wizard can be set to spin (and therfore curve) the ball in any direction to simulate virtually any pitch.
What about the slider? A slider spins around an axis roughly parallel to its direction of travel, like a football thrown with a spiral. The resulting break is similar to a sidearm or 3/4 curve. No commercially available pitching machine actually throws a slider, although most competitors make that claim, because to throw it, the machine's wheels would have to pivot into different planes like a football machine. For most hitters, a fast 3/4 curve is a close enough approximation, and that's what our machine does. At least we're honest about it.
Spinball Wizard FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
I've never heard of Spinball. How do I know your products are any good? Well, we're relatively new, so most people haven't heard of us. Just compare our design features. Our motors are custom made by the same company that makes them for Atec. Our wheel tread is thicker than Bata's and Atec's, plus our wheel materials are more durable than Bata's. Plus we have 100% positive feedback on Ebay and a 4.8/5.0 rating on Google.
What kind of balls can it throw? The Spinball Wizard can throw real baseballs and softballs as well as the plastic dimpled balls specifically designed for pitching machines. You can also use our machines with cricket, lacrosse, or tennis balls. We recommend using our slightly compressible (not foam) dimpled balls, which will last longer and be more accurate than regulation balls.
How do you set up the machine to throw the various pitches? We include a laminated color chart with each machine for guidance. An explanation of the theory and a pdf version of the chart can be found at www.spinballsports.com/pitch_chart. After some practice, most people don't need the chart and can set up custom pitches on their own. We do not have an equivalent chart for softball or cricket.
Do you have an automatic feeder? Yes, available at www.spinballsports.com/accessories. The current linear model holds 24 baseballs or 18 softballs. Price is $495, including a remote control and free shipping.
How long does it take to convert from baseball to softball? You have to replace the legs (which slide into sockets) and the ball feeder tube (two screws). You also have to move the motors (four screws each) to their proper positions. It should take about five minutes.
Can I use a generator? What size do I need? 800 Watts continuous at a minimum. Be careful when buying a generator that you are looking at the electrical output power, not the gas engine output power. They are often advertised by the size of the gas engine, but that number doesn't account for any inefficiency in the generator. For example, a 3.5 Hp (=2600 Watts) generator may only generate 900 Watts of usable electric power.
Do you offer a 240V version? Yes, but it does cost more than the standard 120V USA version. The standard plug for 240V machines is Australian, but we can custom order a plug or find an adapter for a small additional fee. Speed dials on 240V machines read in kph (kilometers per hour) instead of the standard mph (miles per hour).
Why 105 mph? Obviously, nobody throws or needs to hit a 105 mph pitch, and we don't recommend the machine be used at that speed. However, to throw a 90 mph fastball with realistic backspin, you need to set one wheel at 105 and the other at 75. Same thing on a 90 mph slider. To get the ball to spin properly, you need to set one wheel faster than the pitch speed and one wheel slower. Also, you should note that hitting off a machine can be more difficult than off a live pitcher because there is no arm motion to read, so machine speeds are often set lower than live arm speeds.
At what distance can it throw 105 mph? At any distance. We calibrate the motors and controls to throw a baseball at a legitimate 105 mph top speed, as measured by radar gun. Some competitors try to confuse the issue by claiming equivalent speeds at shorter distances. Throwing a ball 50 mph from 30' is not the same as actually throwing 100 mph from 60'. The ball's trajectory is not the same, and that's a huge part of hitting - to recognize where the ball is headed before it gets there. Like Pete Rose said, "See the ball, hit the ball."
What maintenance is required? Not much. If stored outdoors, the machine should be covered when not in use to keep the electronics dry and prevent UV related fading. Tarps are available at local hardware stores, or even a large plastic trash bag will do the job. Do not leave the machine out in strong storms. If it does blow over, it will be damaged and that damage is not covered under warranty.
Can it throw grounders and fly balls? Yes and yes. The Wizard adjusts from 60 degrees above horizontal to 15 degrees below. However, it can not throw catcher's pop ups (straight up). Horizontal adjustment range is 30 degrees, so it is not suited for distributing balls around the entire field.
Is this a good machine for my 8 year old? To hit against, yes. To operate, absolutely not. This machine can throw baseballs 105 mph, which can be lethal. It should only be set up and operated by responsible adults and only at speeds near those that the batter will normally see. Batters should always wear a helmet and be aware that the machine will throw balls and strikes.
How accurate is this machine? That's hard to quantify, and most retailers exaggerate (a lot). It largely depends on the type and condition of the balls you use. The plastic dimpled balls are more accurate because they vary less than leather balls, especially after use. With average quality used leather baseballs, we normally get around 90% strikes on an adult sized zone. With slightly compressible dimpled balls, it's more like 95%. Some variation makes for better practice. Hitting the exact same pitch in the exact same location will lead to bad habits. Atec produced a video showing a baseball knocking an apple off a pedestal on a catcher's head to demonstrate their accuracy. Two questions- Why is he wearing the mask? Can you return the machine for a full refund when you don't get the same results?
Why is it so much cheaper than other machines? There are several reasons. The most important is that we sell direct so you don't have to pay the typical retailer's markup of 30% ($400-$500). Second, it's a smart design that's cheaper and easier to build so we can charge less. And third, we're a small company with low overhead that wants to grow quickly.
How did you make it so light? Our background is in aerospace engineering and this machine was designed from the ground up with a light weight in mind. The steel frame is engineered not only to be solid and robust, but also lightweight. Jugs style wheels are very difficult to keep balanced because they change shape as they change speed. Our wheels are precision machined and balanced so there's no need to make the machine heavy to compensate. At high speeds on a slick surface like hardwood or cement, there can be a small amount of recoil, so we recommend using a carpet scrap or mat to absorb the shock and keep the machine in place. On grass, dirt, or turf the machine is good to go as shipped.
What is your phone number? 1-618-244-4587.
About Spinball Sports Products
Spinball Sports began in 2003 as a part time project between two Boeing engineers. After two years of development and testing, we introduced the original Spinball Wizard pitching machine, which used Jugs style wheels. In 2008, we totally redesigned the machine to be lighter and more portable, while also making it more robust and easier to use. The result is a machine that outperforms the market leaders at 2/3 the price and 1/2 the weight.
Today, Spinball continues as a small but rapidly growing business based near St. Louis, Missouri. To keep prices low, we operate exclusively over the internet, selling directly to consumers. We concentrate on quality engineering and manufacturing, not expensive celebrity endorsements.
Spinball Sports Products owner and chief engineer Tom 'the hit man' Hart holds Bachelors degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Management and has 19 years professional engineering experience (13 at The Boeing Company). He played Division II baseball for the University of Missouri - Rolla and continues to play in several baseball leagues in the St. Louis area.