03-10-2014 / By:
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.
Goslin created quite a disturbance during the April 12, 1932 Opening Day game against the Chicago White Sox. He approached the plate with his zebra looking bat, only to have it thrown out by the umpires. On April 13,1932, William Harridge, President of the American League, ruled out the camouflage or zebra looking bat because it created a distraction. I knew Leon when he played for the Detroit Tigers and I also played for him in the Minor Leagues, and not once did I hear of this bat. Only through The Hall of Fame was I eventually made aware of its existence.
Just as the camouflage bat was prohibited from use, so were white webbing in the pitchers' gloves, the slitting of pitchers' sleeves and the hidden ball trick. All were eliminated from Major League Baseball.