Andreatta: MLB batting practice safer thanks to a Rochester-area father and son

From David Andreatta at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on March 26, 2019:

There’s a local angle to every story, and Major League Baseball’s opening day is no exception.

The angle in this case is the trajectory of a baseball as it rockets off a hitter’s bat in batting practice and ricochets off the metal frame of the protective screen shielding the coach.

No one knows where the deflected ball will go, but convention has it that if a batter taunts fate with enough line drives at the screen, the baseball gods will eventually conspire to send the ball screaming back at the batter’s head. Or shoulder. Or elbow. Or knee.

“It’s really just a matter of time,” said John Valle, 64, a former ballplayer and longtime coach from Greece, who is as embedded in local baseball circles as the red cotton stitching in a baseball.

Now Valle and his 29-year-old son, Dave Valle, are defying convention and the divine with a patented hitting screen they invented that reduces ricochets by absorbing balls hit its way.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: March 27, 2019. Last Updated: March 27, 2019.