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Bat Physics. The "Sweet Spot"

05-13-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
A baseball bat has three "sweet spots"; one of them is called its "center of percussion" (COP). That's physicist talk for the point where the ball's impact causes the smallest shock to your hands. If you hit a baseball closer to the bat's handle than to the center of percussion, you'll feel a slight force pushing the handle back into the palm of your top hand. If you hit the ball farther out than the COP, you'll feel a slight push on your fingers in the opposite direction, trying to open up your grip. But if you hit the ball right on the COP, you won't feel any force on the handle. To find the COP on a bat, try this simple activity.
 

The Physics of Baseball

05-01-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

To hit a ball the maximum possible distance, the trajectory off the bat should have a 35-degree angle.

A line drive travels 100 yards in 4 seconds. A fly to the outfield travels 98 yards in 4.3 seconds.

An average head wind (10 mph) can turn a 400-foot home run into a 370-foot routine out.

A curveball that seems to break over 14 inches never actually deviates from a straight line more than 3 1/2 inches. Part of the ball's deviation from a straight line is governed by the equation:
 

The Composite Bat

04-28-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
For more than forty years since the advent of the aluminum bat, rules committees have been dealing with the daunting task of balancing advances in bat composition and manufacturing techniques against the integrity of the game as well as potential safety hazards. Now, to further complicate the problem, there is one more type of bat: the composite.Starting in 2011, BESR was out, BBCOR is in and ABI testing is an interesting question mark for future years. There are legal composites, illegal composites, composites that look like wood bats, composites that look like aluminum bats, half and half bats and God knows what else will appear in the coming years. Another chapter is currently being written in the evolution of the baseball bat.
 

Bat + Ball = Excitement

04-24-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

Ever since the first recorded game, June 19, 1846 at Elysian Field in Hoboken, New Jersey, the spirit of baseball has swept America off its feet. Although changes have altered the sport throughout the years, the foundation upon which baseball was built still remains the same. That foundation is the classic conflict between the pitcher and batter. It is this conflict that continues to amaze the older fans and attract the new ones.

 

The 'Clank' of the Bat

04-22-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

Amateur baseball players use aluminum baseball bats most commonly and the bats are here to stay. These bats, however, at first were not without problems. Some were not strong enough and would bend when hit with a baseball. At times, it was found that the rubber plug at the end of the bat would pop off. Replacement of the plug was necessary. For the most part, these problems have now been corrected.
 

Brett's Pine Tar Bat

04-17-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

George Brett of the Kansas City Royals caused quite a stir with his Hillerich and Bradsby pine tar bat in 1983. On July 24th, Brett hit a home run off Yankee reliever Goose Gossage in the ninth inning to give the Royals a 5-4 lead. Because the bat had pine tar beyond the legal limit of 18 inches, measuring from the bat handle, the home plate umpire disallowed the round-tripper. As a matter of fact, I recall that Brett had pine tar halfway into the Louisville Slugger trademark. However, this decision was later reversed and the pine tar home run did count. Kansas City ultimately defeated the Yankees, 5-4.


 

Warm-up Bats

04-11-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

Weighted on deck warm-up bats and other devices should be used with extreme caution. The five foot on-deck circle gives the next batter an opportunity to prepare for his turn at bat. It is located 13 feet behind home plate and 37 feet to the right or left.

The Bratt on-deck bat is shaped like a regular bottle bat. It has a red plastic coating from the trademark to the end of the 2 5/8 barrel. This bat weighs 4 pounds 1 ounce, and is 34 inches long. It is manufactured in Lynn, Massachusetts.

 

The Trademark Legend and Boning the Bat

04-03-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

It was easy to realize that millions of baseball bats with a brand trademark are manufactured each year. Why are these trademarks so vital? The philosophy of Hillerich and Bradsby on the trademark states that "the strongest part of a wood bat is the grain. We brand our bats with the grain of the wood exactly ninety degrees either side of it. Therefore, if you keep the trademark up, the grain will be facing the pitcher, whether you are a right or left handed batter." It is important to remember that the turn of the batters' wrist may vary. This will determine the proper position of the trademark in order to hit the ball on top the grain.
 

Minor League Sluggers

03-27-2014  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

Who is the Home Run King of Professional Baseball in the USA? Prior to Barry Bonds' feat in 2001, it was Joe Bauman. In 1954 he hit 72 home runs in just 138 games. This 6 foot 5 inch, 245 pound first baseman played for the Roswell (New Mexico) Rockets in the Class C Longhorn League.

I spoke with Joe, who still lives in Roswell, for the purposes of this article.  He said that he used a Louisville Slugger, 35 inches in length and weighing 34 ounces, a Model S-2 Vern Stephens bat. Bauman, often called "Joltin' Joe", was 32 years old when he hit his record breaking 72 home runs. Until then, the Minor League record was 69 home runs, set in 1933 by Joe Hauser of the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association. Hauser's record was tied in 1948 by Bob Crues of the Amarillo Gold Sox.

 

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.
 

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.
 

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..
 

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.
 

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