The Past and Future of the Baseball Bat
06-04-2015 / By:
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.