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The answer to
that question is "both," though past players tend to have used
heavier bats than do today's players. Baseball's "king of swat" Babe
Ruth reportedly began his hitting career using a 54 ounce (1.5 kg) hickory
bat, and is known to have used a 40oz bat in 1927 when he hit his 60 home
runs. Ty Cobb and Joe Di Maggio both played with 42oz bats
and Rogers Hornsby used a 50oz piece of lumber. George Sisler, playing for
the St. Louis Browns in the 1920's, made his bat heavier by hammering
Victrola needles into the barrel of his bat. In the 1950's
Cincinnati Reds' Ted Kluszeski hammered tenpenny nails into his bat to make
Other great hitters including
Ted Williams, Rod Carew and Stan Musial used much lighter bats: 31-33oz. Roger
Maris used a 33oz bat to hit his 61 home runs in 1961. Many players have
tried to make their bats lighter by drilling a hole in the barrel and filling
it with cork. Detroit Tigers' Norm Cash admitted to using a corked bat in
1961 when he won the batting title with a .361 average (though he slumped to
.243 the next year with the same corked bat).
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