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showing 31 - 45 of 161 post(s)

Wood Bat Training Program

07-07-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
X Bats has been making professional grade wood bats for Adult League players to Major Leaguers to Youth League players for over 15 years. One of the challenges that top players face is the transition from metal bats to wood bats. The chief problem is that no matter how light a wood bat is, it can’t feel lighter than a bat with a hollow barrel. The balance point in a solid wood bat is dramatically different than metal and composite bats. 


07-06-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »


A.G. Spalding & Bros. - 1876 - 1978

Factory in Hastings, MI



06-30-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
In 1860 the dimensions agreed upon during the yearly convention were changed and the new playing rules stated that the weight of the ball should be between five and three-fourths ounces and between nine and three-fourths to ten inches in circumference. The ball was still to be made of india-rubber, wrapped in yarn and covered in leather. The leather was still brown and the shade varied depending upon what leather was available to the craftsman. John Van Horn, second baseman for the Baltic Club of New York, in the 1850's, was the leading produce of baseballs in the early 1860's. Van Horn, who was a shoemaker, was located at 33 Second Avenue in New York and used rubber from old shoes to comprise the core of his baseballs. He used between 2 and 2½ ounces of rubber in baseball, which translated in to a "lively" ball and used sheepskin for the cover. He supplied the Knickerbocker Club and has been dubbed the "greatest ball maker of the 19th century."


06-27-2015  |  By: ERIC MIKLICH |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
The baseball was a very important part of the development of the early game of baseball. The hand-made baseball allowed their makers to become identified as making a "live," "medium" or "dead" ball and added to the strategy employed by visiting teams. The size and weight of the baseball changed radically in 1857, continued to change in the 1860's and in 1872 became the same as the ball used today.

Irwin`s Gloves

06-19-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »



06-15-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
The Knickerbocker Base Ball Club introduced the first "uniform" on April 24, 1849. The uniforms consisted of long blue woolen trousers, leather belts, white flannel shirts with a full collar and straw hats. At the end of the 1850's, many teams adopted the flannel shirt with the button on shield style, which contained the team's emblem, name or both. The full length "pantaloon" pants were in vogue throughout the 1860s but presented a problem of having players getting their feet caught on the legs of the pants when running. Players used to wrap them tight to their shins and use tape or a small belt to hold them flush. The 1868 Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first team to wear knickers. These "cricket-style" pants were less restrictive, and as a result their stockings or socks were now visible. Their red stockings became their trademark.


06-12-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
When a glove is mentioned in conjunction with 19th century base ball the listener or reader must not think of the glove as it exists today. The glove started out as merely a leather work glove, with or without full fingers, and progressed to a more padded piece of equipment. It is impossible to pinpoint the first player to wear a "glove" but there have been reports as early as 1860 that catchers were wearing them. It is logical that the catcher would be the first position player to wear them as they handled hundreds of pitches per game as well as foul tips. It would seem that the first baseman would be the next position player to don a "glove."

Evolution of Baseball Equipment

06-08-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

A minimum of equipment was employed in 19th century baseball, and changes in its regulation were infrequent. No batter wore a helmet during the 19th century. "Gloves" did not become common until the late 1880s and the baseball has retained the same dimensions, weight and leather pattern since 1872. Only one attempt to regulate uniforms was made by the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs in 1882. This was due to the emergence of the American Association of Base Ball Clubs, which began play in 1882 and attempted to differentiate themselves from the six-year old National League.

19th century bats looked and felt different than today's bats. They were generally heavier and considerably thicker in the handle and had more of a gradual taper from the handle to the barrel. They were made with or without knobs on the handle and on various parts of the bat would be painted "rings" that would reflect the team color.


The Past and Future of the Baseball Bat

06-04-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

All these innovations were developed to aid in hitting. More recently though, the bat was redesigned to aid the hitter.

During the dead-ball era, baseball players used to grip the bat differently, holding it further up the grip. The knob at the end was to keep players' hands from sliding off the bat. But in the modern game, players hold the bat with their hands as low as possible - sometimes even covering the knob. Graphic designer Grady Phelan created the Pro-XR bat in response to the modern grip.

The major innovation on the Pro-XR bat is the new ergonomic knob, slanted to ensures the batter's hand doesn't rub against it. The design reduces injury, as well as the chances that a bat will be thrown by preventing the hand's ulnar nerve from sending a "release" signal to the brain. Limited testing suggests that the bat will reduce pressure on the hand by 20 percent. It has been approved by the MLB and is currently used in play. But despite the major benefits it offers, baseball players are a stubborn and superstitious lot, and it's unlikely that the Pro-XR will become the league's go-to bat - unless someone starts breaking new records with it.


The Past and Future of the Baseball Bat

06-03-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
While the bat hasn't changed dramatically since the late 19th century, there are a few short-lived oddities and attempts to improve on the design, like the "mushroom" bat from Spalding and the Lajoie (above), designed by Ty Cobb rival Napoleon Lajoie and said to offer a better grip and improve bat control. And then there's this incredibly strange design, patented in 1906 by Emile Kinst:

The Past and Future of the Baseball Bat

05-26-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

By the 1860s, there were almost as many types of baseball bats as there were baseballs. And like early pitchers, who made their own balls, early batters were known to sometimes whittle bats to suit their own hitting style. 

As you might imagine, the results were quite diverse - there were flat bats, round bats, short bats and fat bats. Generally, early bats tended to be much larger and much heavier than today's. 

The thinking was that the bigger the bat, the more mass behind the swing, the bigger the hit. And without any formal rules in place to limit the size and weight of the bat, it wasn't unusual to see bats that were up to 42 inches long (compared to today's professional standards of 32-34) with a weight that topped out at around 50 ounces (compared to today's 30).


Years of Service (21 or more)

05-21-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »


Years Played


Cap Anson



Nolan Ryan



Deacon McGuire



Tommy John





05-18-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

  1. Cy Young, 314
  2. Pud Galvin, 310
  3. Nolan Ryan, 292
  4. Walter Johnson, 279
  5. Phil Niekro, 274
  6. Gaylord Perry, 265
  7. Don Sutton, 256
  8. Jack J. Powell, 254
  9. Eppa Rixey, 251
  10. Bert Blyleven, 250
  11. Bobby Mathews, 248
  12. Warren Spahn, 245
  13. Robin Roberts, 245
  14. Steve Carlton, 244
  15. Early Wynn, 244
  16. Jim Kaat, 237
  17. Frank Tanana, 236
  18. Gus Weyhing, 234
  19. Tommy John, 231
  20. Ted Lyons, 230
  21. Bob Friend, 230
  22. Greg Maddux, 227
  23. Ferguson Jenkins, 226
  24. Red Ruffing, 225
  25. Tim Keefe, 225



05-15-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

  1. Jesse Orosco, 1252
  2. Mike Stanton, 1178
  3. John Franco, 1119
  4. Mariano Rivera, 1115
  5. Dennis Eckersley , 1071
  6. Hoyt Wilhelm, 1070
  7. Dan Plesac, 1064
  8. Mike Timlin, 1058
  9. Kent Tekulve, 1050
  10. Trevor Hoffman, 1035
  11. Jose Mesa, 1022
  12. Lee Smith, 1022
  13. Roberto Hernandez, 1010
  14. Mike Jackson, 1005
  15. Rich "Goose" Gossage, 1002
  16. Lindy McDaniel ,987
  17. Todd Jones, 982
  18. David Weathers, 964
  19. Rollie Fingers, 944
  20. LaTroy Hawkins, 943
  21. Gene Garber, 931
  22. Eddie Guardado, 908
  23. Cy Young, 906
  24. Arthur Rhodes, 900
  25. Sparky Lyle, 899



05-12-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
  1. Nolan Ryan, 5714
  2. Randy Johnson, 4875
  3. Roger Clemens, 4672
  4. Steve Carlton, 4136
  5. Bert Blyleven, 3701
  6. Tom Seaver, 3640
  7. Don Sutton, 3574
  8. Gaylord Perry, 3534
  9. Walter Johnson, 3508
  10. Greg Maddux, 3371
  11. Phil Niekro, 3342
  12. Ferguson Jenkins, 3192
  13. Pedro Martinez, 3154
  14. Bob Gibson, 3117
  15. Curt Shilling, 3116
  16. John Smoltz, 3084
  17. Jim Bunning, 2855
  18. Mickey Lolich, 2832
  19. Mike Mussina, 2813
  20. Cy Young, 2798
  21. Frank Tanana, 2773
  22. David Cone, 2668
  23. Chuck Finley, 2610
  24. x-Tom Glavine, 2607
  25. Warren Spahn, 2583