BYOB (Bring Your Own BAT)
01-30-2014 / By:
During this particular time in history, players experimented with different kinds of wood for their bats in order to improve their hitting ability. They soon realized that wagon tongue wood was the best for making baseball bats. While the transition to wagon tongue wood was taking place, players also realized they could hit a ball much more solidly with a round bat. While some players continued to make their own bats, others had their bats made by a wood maker. Within the next four to five years, the round bat became very popular. All ball players were using a round wagon tongue bat and the only flat surface bat on any team was used strictly for bunting. The round bat had definitely taken over.
As we arrive in the year 1852, there are still no restrictions on bats. Although the type of wood used for bats and their shape were uniform, players could use any size bat they could adequately handle. Knowing that bats with a larger barrel have a better hitting surface, players continued to have their bats made larger and of any length. This continued until the batter had the definite advantage and was prevalent through 1858.
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.