July 31, 2015 - Triple Play

Here's what the folks at JUGS Sports do. They figure it out. They understand what tools are needed to improve baseball and softball players' games and they innovate. A culmination of this innovation is one of their newest offerings, the Backyard Bullpen.

The Backyard Bullpen is a tremendous, versatile combination of three items in one great package. Included is a A huge 7’ portable screen with 12 "Hit-Your-Spot"  pockets. The pockets serve as throwing targets providing pitchers with precise areas in and around the stike zone on which to focus. Also part of the package are the JUGS Radar Cube and a a set of 15 Perfect Pitch baseballs or softballs, (as well as a throw-down plate and nylon carrying case). The idea behind the trio of the Radar Cube, the Perfect Pitch balls and the screen is brilliant in its simplicity. On each ball is printed an exact replica of the throwing pocket grid. Simply match the suggested location printed on the ball with the same location on the net. And after firing into the appropriate pocket, The Cube will display the speed of the pitch with the same accuracy as their world-famous radar guns. Together they help pitchers improve their speed and accuracy all while learning the strike zone.

The uses are nearly limitless. Having the Backyard Bullpen means having a personal batterymate. High school and college teams can utilize it to warm up a pitcher in the bullpen. It would be a tremendous addition to any indoor baseball faciilty, creating a pitching station that needn't be staffed or monitored. It works for hitting practice too. Batters can stand in front of the net while pitches come in and either hit or just "take" and get a feel for whether those pitches were balls or strikes with instant feedback, (i.e. into which pocket the ball landed). How about fielding work? The net can be set up at first base as a reciever for infield practce, or down at second base as a target for catchers working on the pop times.

Those who have been reading our reviews for the past several years will find it no surprise that our favorite application is that of a backyard trainer. One of the most challenging things for busy, working parents is how to get baseball or softball-playing kids to practice on their own and without having to shuttle them off to expensive private lessons. Now every day, young , aspiring pitchers can simply go out, by themselves, and throw into The Bullpen. If I had had this when my kids were Little League and even high school age, I'd have asked them to throw a certain number of pitches each day, paying attention to the counts and locations printed on the balls, and notating the velocity of each pitch. We'd have tracked ratios of accurate pitches and speeds and compared them day after day to monitor improvement. My kids would have looked at this fun, built-in challenge and regimen as a game, not work. And with that mind-set, you'll never have to worry about them practicing on their own. Plus, I always hated squatting in the catcher's stance and wearing out my knees while waiting for a shothop to bite me somewhere. It would have been much more enjoyable to let the net do the work for me.

And, finally, speaking of games, the Backyard Bullpen is also like having your own arcade in the backyard. Imagine inviting competitive friends over for a barbeque what would happen once a few folks toss a ball into the net with the radar on. Next thing you know there's going to be a line waiting their turn, a ton of trash-talk and a whole lot of fun. You decide if you want to provide huge stuffed animal prizes.

We know of nowhere you can go to get as many high-quality products to improve your game as JUGS Sports. They've been the leaders for decades and, impressively, they have never sat on their laurels. In fact, we just learned of another fantastic product they've developed that will take the baseball and softball world by storm. You'll see our review of that in the near future. In the meantime, be it college, high school or youth league; professional, serious instruction or just some backyard fun, get yourself a Backyard Bullpen. You'll feel like you just signed your own full-time catcher, infielder and pitching coach to long-term contracts.

Source: JUGS Sports

A huge 7’ portable screen with 12 Hit-Your-Spot™ pockets.

July 28, 2015 - Digging for Gold

This review is more about professoinal, minor league baseball than about a particular ownership group. However, we've had direct experience with the product the Goldklang Group puts out and it is tremendous. The Goldkang Group is a sports entertainment consulting and management firm with a passion for the game and the foresight of growth within professional baseball. They know the key to success is providing fun, easily accesseble venues, entertainment and quality play at an affordable price. If you haven't been to a minor league game recently, you should check it out.

The Goldklang Group owns the Charleston Riverdogs, Fort Myers Miracle, Hudson Valley Renegades, Pittsfield Suns, and the Saint Paul Saints. Go see any one one of those teams play and we're sure you'll have a terrific experience. We just watched a four-game homestand at Dutchess Stadium in Hudson Valley and it was possibly more enjoyable than being at a Big League game. The ease of getting in and out, short lines, low prices, quirkly fun and high-calibur play combined to make for some unforgettable evenings.

Over more than two decades, the Group has participated in the construction and/or financing of three minor league baseball stadiums (Hudson Valley, Charleston and Brockton), and will soon add a fourth with a new ballpark slated to open in St Paul for the 2015 season. They were also at the forefront of the formation of the American Association in 2005, a modern independent baseball venture in which the St. Paul franchise currently plays. Oh, and actor Bill Murray is also part of The Group as Co-Owner, Director of Fun.

It used to be that Minor League Baseball was barely a step above Bush League. Now, its a big business. But, as you'll see next time you drop in to see a game, that big business still has a family feel that welcomes you in and let's you go home with a full wallet and plenty of memories.

Source: Goldkang Group

Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 10:13AM by Registered CommenterSports Product Review in , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail

July 21, 2015 - Hoop and Go Seek

Just when you think you've seen it all. Now here is a way that folks can still get in their hoops fix even under the specter of grinchy homeowners associations or in racquetball courts.

Originally manufactured for exterior use on residential properties, Auto Hoop now offers models for interior use including racquetball and squash courts. This amazing device hides behind a wall until activated. Then the “hidden” door opens and out slides the hoop. Push the button again and it hides away until the next game.

Homeowners who don't want to or can't have a basketball court on display 24/7 can now keep the hoop under wraps until needed. Racquetball and squash courts can now become basketball hoops without a permanent basketball assembly interfering with the play of the game. This gives the court owner the best of both worlds – the ability to keep all wall finishes flush in the court and the option to simply push a button to temporarily convert the space for basketball.

Just give the innovative folks at Auto Hoop a call and you'll be balling in secret in no time. Simply install, plug it in, and you're ready to go. Included in the package are the basketball backboard, breakaway rim, net, the Auto Hoop mechanical/electrical apparatus, and the wood door. Basketball and mad game sold separately.


Source: Auto Hoop

July 16, 2015 - He's Got a Kannon

That's baseball vernacular for having a good throwing arm. Since I throw a lot of batting practice to my boys, my arm is still in pretty decent shape. So if we take the pooch, Lucky, to the beach or the park I don't need one of those plastic whips I see people with that help them throw a tennis ball.

With that said, I still might just pick up one of these K-9 Kannons from Hyper Pet. It's probably a good thing these weren't around when I was a kid or I might have gotten into a lot of trouble. But before you get too excited, or worried, the Kannon isn't firing with explosives that might be dangerous or scare your pet...it uses a spring-load pull back and fire mechanism that is safe and quiet.

The Kannon means lots of launch and fetch fun for everyone. It offers hands-free ball pick-up and extra tennis ball storage. If you don't have a great arm or you just like packing heat, this is perfect for you. So, next time your dog brings the ball and drops it at your feet expectantly you've got to ask yourself, "Do you feel lucky? Well do you?"

Source: Hyper Pet

Posted on Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 02:17PM by Registered CommenterSports Product Review in , , , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail

July 9, 2015 - Indoor Soccer

This is from the file, "Why didn't we know about these guys when our kids were little?" Diggin Active make a large area of cool, fun, interactive sports toys and games that youngsters would love. This one, the Soccer Challenge appears to be one of the best in their extensive line.

I have not actually played with it myself but have watched a video demonstration and I wish I'd had one of these when my daughter was just starting in soccer. It would have been tons of fun to challenge her to a match and try to beat her up to 100, all the while stoking that competitiveness in her and improving her fine motor foot skills.

The device is simple, but exciting like an arcade game. The object is to kick the ball that is provided towards the mat, which you've hung on a wall so that the bottom is flush with the carpet. If the ball hits one of the white numbers  you get an electronic crowd cheer and that point score is added to your total. Hit one of the red numbers and a buzzer sounds and those points are subtracted. The designers were smart enough to put the higher point totals on the spots of the mat that coincide with the toughest shots for a goalie to defend, encouraging kids to learn superior shot placement.

Would this be exciting for kids past the age of, say, eight or nine? Probably not. But kids these days start playing soccer as young as four and a parent could get many years of fun and real training, indoors no less which means 365 days a year. This is a great way to play a game with your child but at the same time, actually have them practicing valuable skills.

Source: Diggin Active

Posted on Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 11:13AM by Registered CommenterSports Product Review in , , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail