Disappointing Childhood Toy: The Pitchback
Stupid piece of shit
Back when I was in Little League, like most kids around that age, I really wanted a pitchback. I'd see ads for them on TV, and they'd look pretty cool: Hey, you can play catch by yourself! You can work on new pitches and stuff, and build up your arm strength! You can throw pretend line drives to yourself, and dive to catch 'em like you're Graig Nettles or Rico Petrocelli! It looks awesome just sitting on your lawn!
What a sorry-ass hunk of crap it turned out to be, though. First of all, they cost about 30 bucks back then, so you knew once your parents bought you one, you weren't getting another toy for a very long time. On top of that, the netting was so soft that it had no action at all, meaning that if you threw at it from a pitching-rubber-to-the-plate type of distance, the ball would plop to the ground thirty feet in front of you. You had to stand right on top of the thing and wind the ball at it as hard as possible just to get a tepid little pop-up back in your direction.
Worst of all were the gaps between the netting and the frame, which were big enough for a baseball to pass through easily. Any off-center pitches would sail through the gaps, with the ball skipping away for you to run after it. Wasn't the reason you got the pitchback in the first place was so you wouldn't have to fetch the ball afterwards?
Then, half the time, the pitchback would just fall over, since it was made with all the stability of a window envelope. Who designed this pile of junk, anyway?
Eventually, you found out that you were better off going behind the school or any other concrete building that had empty parking lot, and throwing a baseball (or even a tennis ball) against the wall that way. In the meantime, the store that sold you the pitchback still had your parents' thirty bucks, and you were out on getting the Coleco Head-to-Head Football game or whatever else it was that you really wanted.
Life sucks, kid.