Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, September 27, 2012

How Big League Bats Are Getting Harder Than Ever

Ted Williams looked for bats with knots in the barrel because, he thought, the compressed wood within the gnarls would return more energy upon impact with a pitched baseball. It’s the same reason that, dating back generations, players have worked over their bats by rubbing an animal bone lengthwise across the barrel, packing the raised grains of the wood and create a tight, level hitting surface.

It’s an ongoing quest for impermeability, which over recent years has led to the widespread use of maple bats — which are harder than traditional ash bats — and a variety of finishes. Never mind that testing has yet to draw conclusive results that this actually helps; the fact is Barry Bonds used a maple bat to swat 73 home runs in 2001, and a cavalcade of copycats quickly followed.

Now, Hillerich & Bradsby, maker of the famed Louisville Slugger, has upped the ante with its MLB Prime line, hitting stores Oct. 1. It called the Prime the hardest bat ever. In so doing, the company achieved two goals: It improved a product it provides to some 400 major leaguers, and it found a way to replicate the process en masse to make the bats commercially available.

It will be interesting to see what the effects (if any) of these bats are in in-game performance. There isn’t be anything in the article referencing any comparisions of exit speeds of balls off bats.

The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:45 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4247474)
How Big League Bats Are Getting Harder Than Ever
Viagra.
   2. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4247476)
That's what she said.
   3. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4247553)
Wonder who'll be the first player to use a bat made of lignum vitae?
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4248262)
Why, by rubbing a bone lengthwise, of course.
   5. Willie Mayspedester Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4248307)
I was told this is the strongest wood
   6. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4248313)
Wonder who'll be the first player to use a bat made of lignum vitae?


Lignum vitae is about twice as heavy by mass as ash, and ~75% heavier than maple. The modern trend has been towards lighter bats and higher bat speed and I doubt anyone would give that up for the harder wood. There's also this clause in the rules:

NOTE: No laminated or experimental bats shall be used in a professional game (either championship season or exhibition games) until the manufacturer has secured approval from the Rules Committee of his design and methods of manufacture.


MLB would probably designate a lignum vitae bat as "experimental" and so not allowed.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Harry Balsagne, anti-Centaur hate crime division
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-16-2014
(98 - 11:41pm, Sep 16)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogPedro pens a letter to Clayton Kershaw
(10 - 11:21pm, Sep 16)
Last: Esoteric

NewsblogBryan Cranston’s One-Man Baseball Play Inspired By ‘Looney Tunes’ Is Incredible
(14 - 11:18pm, Sep 16)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(248 - 10:37pm, Sep 16)
Last: The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott)

NewsblogSteven Matz, other top minor league Mets to be honored at Citi Field on Monday
(21 - 10:30pm, Sep 16)
Last: formerly dp

NewsblogVox.com: Major League Baseball’s human-trafficking problem
(7 - 10:29pm, Sep 16)
Last: The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott)

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-16-2014
(26 - 10:01pm, Sep 16)
Last: bobm

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(262 - 10:00pm, Sep 16)
Last: rr

NewsblogLonestarball: Jonathan Papelbon suspended for 7 games
(13 - 9:51pm, Sep 16)
Last: Famous Original Joe C

NewsblogNew approach on offense has Pirates in playoff contention this season
(2 - 9:38pm, Sep 16)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogToronto Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman gets no defence from his manager after nearly hitting a batter in the head
(22 - 9:27pm, Sep 16)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(2704 - 9:00pm, Sep 16)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogA’s lose Triple-A Sacramento affiliate
(52 - 8:55pm, Sep 16)
Last: TerpNats

NewsblogBowman: A year’s worth of struggles leads reason to wonder what changes are in store for the Braves
(43 - 8:38pm, Sep 16)
Last: spike

NewsblogMLB announces postseason plans, with various notable points
(16 - 8:32pm, Sep 16)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October

Page rendered in 0.2134 seconds
52 querie(s) executed