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The Most Popular Model

03-24-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »


Hillerich and Bradsby have over 300 Pro models on record today. They also have 20,000 specification cards in the Pro model file.  For example, both Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron used similar model bats. However, Ruth's bat weighed 42 ounces and Aaron's weighed 33 ounces. The model bat most popular today is that of Eddie Malone of the Chicago White Sox, for whom the bat Model M I 10 is named. Bats also have nicknames such as Timber, Lumber, Willow, Black Death, Black Betsy and Stick. Give Hillerich and Bradsby credit for manufacturing millions of baseball bats for more than 115 years. Their bats were, and still are, made in America.
 

More Baseball, More Trees

03-23-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
At this point in history, it was evident that baseball was here to stay. The challenge of every play and the excitement of the fans increased attendance every year. Bat manufacturers realized the importance of continued research in order to supply the best quality wood for their products. Hillerich and Bradsby began manufacturing baseball bats as a small concern at the turn of the century. By comparison, in today's bat industry, it takes thousands of trees each year to supply the bat demand.
 

Hank Greenberg

03-13-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

Fred Haney, the manager of the St. Louis Browns, said, "Hank Greenberg puts more thought, effort and conscientiousness into his work than any other player in the league and, to my mind, he is the best competitor in the league." These words most accurately express the true spirit of Hank Greenberg. Greenberg'' overwhelming statistics are the result of the combination of his talents and his 35 inch, 34 ounce Louisville Slugger. During' overwhelming statistics are the result of the combination of his talents and his 35 inch, 34 ounce Louisville Slugger. During Greenberg'' abbreviated career that began with the Detroit Tigers, he had 1,628 hits, 331 home runs and a batting average of .313.

 

Stripes for Goose

03-10-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
The word special can be appropriately applied to the Leon "Goose"" Goslin stripped Louisville baseball bat. While playing left field for the St. Louis Browns, Goose came up with a phenomenal idea. Before the 1932 baseball season, Willis Johnson, the secretary of the Browns, developed this idea and devised the "War Club". As I recall, most of the bats at that time had a natural finish and were of one color.. Goslin's bats had twelve green longitudinal stripes that started at the knob and widened along the face and over the barrel end. His bats were always 34 inches long and weighed at least 37 ounces. 
 

Hanna Bats

03-06-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
The Hanna Manufacturing Company originated in Athens, Georgia in 1911. They were known for making handles for shovels, hand tools and farm implements. In 1926, Hanna started making toy bats for department stores and a short time later the company was making bats for sporting goods stores, colleges and the Major Leagues. They manufactured bats until going out of business in 1976.
 

Heinie's Bottle Bat & 1920's Baseball

03-03-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

Heinie Grohs' unusual bottle bat was the largest made. The barrel was 2 3/4 inches beyond the trademark and tapered sharply to the handle. In 1919, Groh was playing for the Cincinnati Reds. This was the year that he, along with his famous bottle bat, finished fourth in batting in the National League. His average was .310.

Also in 1919, the thunder from pitcher Babe Ruth's' bat could be heard when he hit 29 home runs for the Boston Red Sox to lead the American League. He was purchased by the New York Yankees from Boston before the 1920 season for $125,000. Ruth, now playing the outfield, used a Louisville Slugger Model R-43 with a medium barrel, 36 inches in length and weighing 42 ounces. Babe Ruth, often called "Bambino", hit 54 home runs in 1920 and 59 in 1921.


 

Pay for an Autograph

02-25-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
As the years progressed, J.F. Hillerich and Son introduced still another innovative idea involving their bats and Honus Wagner. In 1905, Wagner, the shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates, became the first player ever to sign a contract with Hillerich to have his autograph burned into the wood of the barrel of his Louisville Slugger. Tyrus Cobb, centerfielder for the Detroit Tigers, was another player who also began his illustrious reign in baseball with a Louisville Slugger in his hand. Often called "The Georgia Peach", Cobb was one of baseballs' greatest players. He was a fierce competitor with a lifetime batting average of .367. Honus Wagner, one of the greatest all-around players, broke into the Majors hitting .344. Called "The Flying Dutchman" , Wagner was considered the best shortstop ever to play that position. Did you know that these two great players used the same style bat? Both bats had a large barrel with tapered, thick handle. Cobb was one of the last players to use the once popular split-handed grip. He also taught this special technique to Tris Speaker and to Heinie Manush of the Detroit Tigers..
 

Harvest the Field Or Hit the Ball

02-21-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Now, let us focus on a rather unique bat that resembled a hand-held sickle. The inventor, Emile Kinst, applied for and had his bat patented in 1906. His bat featured useful improvements that enabled the batter to strike the ball in various directions. The handle resembled that of a regular bat up to the trademark. However, beyond the trade mark, there were small longitudinal grooves as well as a somewhat flat concave curve that continued along the hitting surface to the end of the bat.
 
The longitudinal grooves on the handle continued along both sides of the hitting surface. The face or concave part of the hitting surface had three larger grooves. The center groove was straight and the two outer grooves bowed outward. These aided in preventing a fly or foul tip by engaging the surface of the ball when hit. By hitting the ball at certain points of the bat, the ball could be driven to left, center or right field. 
 

Spalding's Mushroom

02-16-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Spalding stamped the word Mushroom above their small trademark. They emphasized quality, balance and the knob arrangement at the end of the bat. This combination enabled the batter to get a better distribution of weight over the entire length of the bat. This advantage was not possible to achieve under the old construction. Spalding felt as though the Mushroom bat with the round knob was the perfect bat. The Mushroom Model M, plain or special finish, and Model MT, taped handle, each sold for $1.

The Spalding Gold Medal Bat, according to their advertisements, was made of the best quality white ash. When purchased, this bat was inspected and registered with the model, weight, length and timber. It was available with gold or plain finish, taped and carried a diamond-shaped guarantee card. If any part of the bat proved defective during the season in which it was purchased, it could be returned with the guarantee card to any retailer or dealer that carried Spalding bats.
 

Whose Bat Do You Use?

02-10-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

The Louisville Slugger trademark on each bat led to the branding of player signatures on the barrel of the bats. Until then, players carved their initials or in some other way marked the knob or barrel of their bats. Baseball players using Louisville slugger bats before the turn of the century included Willie Keeler, Hugh Duffy, Pete Browning, John McGraw, Hugh Jennings, Honus Wagner and the Delaney brothers, just to name a few.

"Bud" Hillerich earned a partnership in his father's business in 1897 and the name of the company was then changed to "J.F. Hillerich and Son". At the turn of the century, A.G. Spalding and brothers, being in the sporting goods business, were advertising and selling their very popular Mushroom and Gold Seal bats. Wright and Ditson were also selling their Nap Lajole bats, featuring the new and unique double ring handle. A.J. Reach baseball bats also added to the highly competitive business of manufacturing bats.

 

Hillerich to the Rescue

02-07-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

An important event happened in 1884, which is now frozen in history. This event involved a broken bat and a young woodworker. During the 1884 baseball season, John Hillerich, a woodworker for his father and a good amateur ballplayer, was in the stands watching 'The Louisville Eclipse' of The Professional American Association play. During this game, Pete "The Gladiator" Browning, star outfielder, broke his favorite bat and became very frustrated. After the game, young Hillerich invited Pete to his Dads' woodworking shop. He claimed that he could create a new bat for Pete.
 

The Early Restrictions

02-03-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

In 1859, The Professional National Association of Baseball Players Governing Committee voted in favor of the first limitation on bat size. The limitation specified that bats may be no larger than 2 1/2 inches in diameter and that they may be of any length. As we shall see, several more changes evolved from this limitation in the forthcoming years.
 

BYOB (Bring Your Own BAT)

01-30-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

Numerous changes were made in all aspects of the game of  baseball during the first six years. At this time, each player was responsible for selecting baseball bats for themselves, and there were no restrictions as to length, size or width. Bill Deane, Senior Research Associate at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York has on record a well documented account of a baseball game played on June 19,1846 at Elysian Field in Hoboken, New Jersey. This game was the first played under the Alexander Cartwright rules, which included a 9 inning game, 9 players on each team and 3 outs per side. However baseball players made their own bats and as a result, many different sizes and shapes were used.
 

The Evolution of the Baseball Bat

01-29-2014  |  By: Bernie Mussill edited by Steve Orinick |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

...from the first crack to the 'clank'

Come travel with me many years back into history and let us study "The Evolution of the Baseball Bat". I am sure that each of us at one time or another has had the urge to skip a stone across a lake or to pitch, catch, throw or bat some type of ball. In Europe, Nicholas Grudich played Lupka with other boys by using a five inch round pointed stick that was set at an angle on the ground and hit with a flat bat. From these types of activities came groups of boys playing Rounders, Flyball, Townball and Caddy.

Townball was a game involving twenty to thirty boys in a field attempting to catch a ball hit by a tosser. The tosser used a four inch flit bat with a tapered handle so his hands could grip it firmly for control and leverage. Even though history is sketchy at this time, I believe that it is safe to say that from this idea came the modern day baseball bat that is used in every game to thrill fans all over the world.

 

But Wait - Bat Weight is not as important as "Swing Weight" (moment-of-inertia)!

01-23-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

There is a big problem with the discussion of bat weight that I have summarized in this article. All of the physics used to derive the optimum mass and the batted ball speed assume that the ball hits the bat at its center-of-mass. This very rarely happens - hits at the sweet spot are several inches from the center-of-mass. There is another very important parameter of the bat which affects how quickly you can swing a bat, and what the final ball speed is. This parameter involves the distribution of mass along the length of the bat and how that mass distribution affects the motion of a rotating object. In physics we refer to this parameter as the moment of inertia. It turns out that the moment-of-inertia (or "swing weight") matters more than mass..