Batting cage installed at Dick’s; guns on the way out

CHEEKTOWAGA – The Dick’s Sporting Goods at Walden Galleria now has a batting cage giving baseball and softball players the ability to test bats for free before making a purchase the mall announced Wednesday.

The company rolled out nearly 150 in-store HitTrax batting cages across the country this February and their store at Walden Galleria has been selected among these retail locations to roll out the new technology.

“For the first time ever, Dick’s is proud to offer batting cages at select stores nationwide for baseball and softball players to test bats for free before making a purchase,” said Anna Whieldon, Community Marketing Manager, Dick’s Sporting Goods. “The Cage gives athletes the ability to analyze HitTrax swing metrics in order to find the right fit for their game. It also has a fun, interactive element to store for our customers here at Walden Galleria.”

‘The Cage’ at Dick’s gives athletes the ability to analyze swing metrics in order to find the right fit for their game. HitTrax technology is able to capture real-time stats immediately following impact so players can review and understand how certain bats perform for them. Swing metrics include exit velocity, launch angle, distance, point of contact, play outcome and more.

The announcement comes the same day the sporting goods store made national headlines that it will remove firearms from 17% of its stores. The move follows the company’s ban on assault-style weapons last year in the wake of the Parkland shooting.

The move to remove firearms and hunting gear, according to a Bloomberg report, has more to do with slumping sales than the company’s moral compass.

“The retailer will drop hunting gear starting around August from about 125 stores where it is underperforming,” the article said.  “The change, which affects about 17 percent of the Dick’s chain, follows a trial run last year when Dick’s removed hunting products from 10 of its stores.”

The company’s CEO was one of four CEOs to sign a letter supporting a universal gun control bill that recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he recently joined the business council of Everytown, a nonprofit that advocates for gun control.

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