How baseball bat is made
When baseball was initially played, bats were used to hit the ball, and sticks were utilized to hit the ball. Players either whittled their own bats or purchased them from a wood turner by the time the game was formally recognized as a team sport in the early twentieth century. The league’s standards, established in 1863, were broad: any sort of wood was permitted, and the bats had to be spherical, with the thickest section not exceeding 2.5 inches (6.5 cm) in diameter. There were no constraints on the length of the piece.
Because to the heavy weight, home runs were extremely rare.
Aaron’s bat was 35 inches (89 cm) in length and 33 ounces (979 g) in weight when he hit the ball.
There are no limitations on the amount of weight you can carry.
- Several major league players have attempted to employ a strengthened bat during the course of their careers.
- A game between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox in July of 1994 resulted in Belle’s bat being seized.
- It, on the other hand, vanished overnight.
- The temporary suspension of Belle was granted despite the complaints of the community.
- Founded in Kentucky in 1886, HillerichSons was the first firm to devote its whole operation to the manufacture of baseball bats.
- A baseball game in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1884, during which a player named Pete “Old Gladiator” Browning shattered the bat of John “Bud” Hillerich, the son of the business’s founder, occurred, according to corporate mythology.
- Browning blasted three hits in three at-bats with the new bat the next day during the team’s game against the Cardinals.
- Bud’s father was persuaded to expand the family business into bat production as a result of the numerous requests for custom-made bats from other players that followed.
- Frank Bradsby, a sports goods entrepreneur, joined the company in 1911, and the company became HillerichBradsby.
- After he retired from baseball after playing in 50 World Series games for the New York Giants and St.
- Ted Williams, the legendary slugger for the Boston Red Sox, soaked his bats in alcohol to keep them cool during his numerous hitting streaks.
Pin knots in the barrels of his bats were a personal preference of the famous Babe Ruth. In the past, ash trees that were forty to fifty years old were utilized to produce baseball bats because of their strength, flexibility, and lightweight characteristics.
Baseball bats have traditionally been made from ash trees harvested in Pennsylvania and upstate New York and shaped into bats. The ash is prized for its strength, flexibility, and light weight, among other characteristics. When trees develop in thick clusters, they are shielded from the wind and compelled to grow straight up towards the sunshine, which is what makes them the greatest. A minimum of forty to fifty years of development is necessary to achieve the desired trunk diameter of 14-16 inches in an ash tree (36-41 cm).
- In order to identify trees that have attained the appropriate height and width, a forester sprays them with paint to identify them.
- The top branches are cut off and left in the forest for future use.
- The logs are examined at the mill for knots and uneven grain distribution.
- The logs that make the cut are rolled to a hydraulic wedge, which slices them into splits of 40 inches (101 cm) in length.
- 1 A mill worker inserts each split on an automated lathe, which spins the wood while shaving the rough edges away. For the second time, the billets, as they are now known, are tested for straightness of grain. Six-sided bundles of billets are formed by stacking and strapping them together. Workers apply a preventive preservative to the ends of the wood to prevent it from fraying or decaying. It is then transported to the lumberyard of a bat maker, where they are packaged together.
Seasoning the billets
- 2 Because they still contain sap and gum when they arrive at the lumberyard, the billets that arrive at the lumberyard are classified as “green” wood. It is necessary to remove the sap and gum from the wood before it can be strengthened by an air-drying process known as “seasoning.” The billets are simply placed in the yard for a duration ranging from six months to two years in order to get the required seasoning.
Bat turners are the factory employees that are responsible for creating the finished product. They are highly talented artisans that have received specialized training in order to do the complex task. When a customer places an order, the bat turner picks a billet from the storage bin and uses it to build a duplicate of the model that was requested.
Shaping and sanding the billets
- 3 After the billets have dried fully, they are weighed and quality-inspected to ensure that they meet specifications. Each billet is placed on an automated lathe, where it is shaped into a crude baseball bat form with a narrower neck by a skilled technician. The bat shapes are sanded, inspected a second time, and then sorted according to their respective weights.
Matching the bat to the model
- 4 The bat maker maintains a model of each bat produced, which is normally recognized by the name of the baseball player who placed the first purchase. An order placed by a player or club may look something like this: six Johnny Bench models, ten Hank Aarons, and four Mickey Mantles. Bat turners are the factory employees that are responsible for creating the finished product. They are highly talented artisans that have received specialized training in order to do the complex task. A billet is selected from the storage bin when an order is placed by the bat turner to meet the weight and length requirements of the order. The billet is mounted on a lathe for turning. The model bat is stored on a rack that is mounted above and behind the lathe. The billet is rotated slowly on the lathe by the bat turner, which sands and shapes it to be an exact reproduction of the original model. Every 1-2 inches (2.54-5 cm), the bat turner measures and weights the billet until it is ideal
- He then repeats the process several times.
Branding, staining, and varnishing the bats
- 5 The bat is embossed with the company’s logo as well as the signature of the player who is linked with the particular model. Approximately one-quarter of a turn away from the sweet point is where the trademark is located (the ideal spot where the ball should strike the bat). If the order specifies that the bat be stained, the bat is immersed in a staining vat. Once this is completed, all of the bats are varnished, put into boxes, and transported to the player or team.
Baseball bats undergo repetitive impact testing in order to ensure that their structural integrity is maintained. In certain manufacturers, compressed-air cannons are used to fire baseballs at specific spots on the baseball bat. Accelerometers detect the velocity of the hit while high-speed cameras film the event. In other plants, robotic arms smack the balls off over-sized golf tees with the force of a baseball bat. Inspectors gather information on the frequency of bending and the trajectory of the balls as they leave the bat.
Although producers have said that the quantity of ash trees is not diminishing, the development of composite and aluminum bats continues. The wood composite bat is normally composed of a plastic foam core that is surrounded by woven layers of synthetic fibers that have been saturated with resin. One of the most recent inventions is a bat constructed of “lanxide,” a ceramic-reinforced material that is lightweight and durable. The resistance to breaking of non-wood bats is cited as a reason for their popularity.
When it comes to amateur and college base-ball players, composite and aluminum bats are common choices; but, if they want to play in the top leagues, they must utilize all-wood bats.
It seems unlikely that Major League Baseball will ever allow anything other than pure wood bats to be used in the league. The sport is entrenched in history, and the adoption of aluminum or composite materials would have a significant impact on the records now on the books.
Where To Learn More
Jan Arnow is the author of this work. The Making of a Baseball Bat with the Louisville Slugger Company. Pantheon Books published the book in 1984.
The article, “High Tech Up at Bat,” appeared in the May 1992 issue of Popular Science, on pages 108-11 and 122-24. “Romance of the Bat,” by Joe Curreri, appeared in Antiques and Collecting Hobbies, May 1992, p. 26. Greg Pesky’s article “Expanded Coverage” appeared in the June 1993 issue of Sporting News. A new material from Lanxide demonstrates the company’s tenacity, according to Sports Goods Business, which published the article on page 36. —MaryF.McNulty
How Baseball Bats Work
When it came to making bats, early amateur baseball players cut or whittled their own, or paid carpenters to create them from slabs of various hardwoods, but they were also known to improvise when the going got tough. During a high-scoring 1865 game, the Philadelphia Athletics were forced to use a shovel handle to finish their at-bats after breaking all of their bats in the process. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that sports goods manufacturers, seeing the growing popularity of the game, began to mass-produce bats in large quantities.
“Bud” Hillerich attended a game against his hometown team, the Louisville Eclipse, in the year 1884.
The legendaryLouisville Sluggerbrand was established the next day after he used it to get three hits.
- With a diameter of little more than 2 3/4 inches (6.9 cm)
- Its whole length cannot exceed 42 inches (1 meter)
- A piece at the handle that is 18 inches long (45.7 centimeters) and might be wrapped with string or coated with a granular material is the only part that is not totally made of hardwood.
No maximum weight was specified by the authors of the article. As a result, some early would-be power hitters used bats that looked like tree trunks to smash the ball hard. In addition, the sort of wood utilized in bats has changed over the centuries. In the beginning, bat producers occasionally used hickory, but they ultimately switched to white ash, which was lighter and more durable than hickory. After the San Francisco Giants’ Barry Bonds used a maple bat to set a single-season home run record with 73 home runs in 2001, maple became extremely popular among baseball players.
However, maple bats have a greater tendency to fracture than ash bats, resulting in a whipping action that propels the ball farther.
For example, although Shoeless Joe Jackson used a single bat for 13 seasons in the early 1900s, today’s professionals seldom get more than a month of usage out of a bat.
From Billet to Bat: How Wood Bats are Made
A wood baseballbat is one of those pieces of sporting equipment that has stood the test of time. Each wood bat is handcrafted using a combination of old and contemporary techniques, making it a genuine representation of nostalgia and creativity. At the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory and Museum, there is no better example of this than to be found. Over the course of more than 135 years, Louisville Slugger has been manufacturing wood bats for professional all-stars as well as weekend baseball lovers.
Every one of the roughly two million bats that leave the Louisville facility each year is made with the same level of quality and workmanship.
Follow DICK’S Sporting Goods Associate Joey Lancianese and product line manager Mike Butler through the construction process as timber is transformed into a plate for your next outing on the field.
Every Louisville Slugger bat starts out as a billet of wood, just as every artwork begins with a blank canvas or a piece of paper. Workers mill the trees and shape them into billets, which they then bring to the manufacturing facility. In addition to birch, maple, and ash, Butler adds they have large bundles of wood in various sizes. These blanks serve as the building blocks for Louisville Slugger’s MLB Prime baseball bats. Workers then transport the billets to the weigh-off station when they have been received.
- “This does not necessarily imply that the lighter or heavier wood will result in a lighter or heavier bat; rather, it just implies that different densities of wood will result in different turning models within our CNC machines,” Butler explains.
- Birch and maple bats are required to have an ink dot to show the grain structure of the wood that they are made of.
- The grain structure – specifically the slope of the grain – is scrutinized in order to ensure that safety criteria are met.
- The ink dot can assist league officials and bat makers in determining whether or not a bat’s grain slope satisfies the requirements that have been established.
- According to Lancianese, here is when they will truly begin to embody “that classic bat form that we all know and adore,” as he describes it.
CARVE OUT YOUR TURN
How to create a baseball bat continues with the turning and latheing of the billet into its final shape. Afterward, each blank is sent into the CNC machine, where it is cut and lathed into the final shape. “This equipment is really crucial to us,” Butler explains. “This machine is responsible for carving out all of our MLB Prime bats.” These cuts are made by the machine in accordance with the bat’s blueprints or turn model. Construction models for wood bat construction models specify the particular specifications needed for the final lumber’s barrel thickness, handle thickness and taper, among other things.
Not sure which turn model is best for your swing?
Take advantage of these additional Pro Tips to learn everything you need to know about baseball bat turn models.
Sanding the bat’s exterior can help it have a smoother, more appealing appearance.
Butler explains that when the nubs are removed, “they’re going to sand it down on the ends so that we can add some other touches onto the bat to make it ready and primed for color,” which will take place later.
A smooth finish is achieved by sanding down the bat’s grain; nonetheless, there are still tiny gaps in the grains. Butler explains that the next stage is to place each bat in the bone rub machine in order to try to seal the grains and give each stick as much power as possible. “The first thing everyone asks me is, ‘Is that a piece of wood?’ How much can you actually do to make things better?’ For starters, Butler explains, “getting it really hard, and then bone rubbing your bats will seal in those grains, really get them tightly compressed in there, and shut it up.” The idea of bat boning is to help compress the wood in order to prevent it from fraying.
A FIERY FACELIFT
Butler explains that the burn station is the next phase in the process as it moves down the line. If a bat style necessitates a flame-treated appearance, this is where the heat will be generated. According to Butler, this is the initial step in the coloration process for Louisville Slugger baseballs. This, according to him, “actually accentuates some of the grain structure and gives it that very nice wood quality element.” BONUS PRO HINT: Although this burnt finish can be achieved on any wood species, Butler believes that ash bats have a particularly intriguing appearance due to the way the wood has been torched.
After completing the final leg of the manufacturing, the color process for Louisville Slugger bats may commence. Butler explains that both the color and topcoats are applied in the same spray booth. All of the bats travel through the booth, where they are each given their own coat and then left to dry for a few hours. Butler said that after the bats have dried, they will be able to go on to the decal station. According to Butler, “We take pleasure in having some really interesting, inventive, seamless decals where the decals are really thin.” “We put them on below the topcoat so that they don’t fall off at the first sign of rain.” Butler claims that with the protective coating, Louisville Slugger bats can preserve their fresh-from-the-factory profile for a longer period of time.
- We’re working hard to develop our bat from season to season and ensure that it’s the greatest possible bat we can put out there, Butler adds.
- “You can still see that ink dot, it’s constantly there,” he explains.
- They are now ready for their final item, which is a medallion, which they will apply with a short hand polish to assist bring out the brightness and reflection.
- The MLB Prime seal of approval, the Louisville Slugger logo, the bat length, and the wood type are all shown on the stick-on medallions.
- Once a medallion has been placed on a bat, it may be transported to a shipping facility where it will be wrapped and ready to be delivered to its new owner.
- It’s clear to understand why they’re still the go-to lumber manufacturer for athletes of all levels of success because to their revolutionary technology and classic designs.
Looking for a more metallic view of the production process? Look no further. Are you interested in learning how metal and composite bats are made? Take a look at our video to see how these baseball bats are constructed.
How Is an Aluminum Baseball Bat Made?
Aluminum baseball bats were first developed in the early 1970s as an economical and durable alternative to their wooden counterparts, which were previously only available in limited quantities. They are available in a variety of lengths and weights to fit batters ranging from Little League to college level, but the common thread that runs through each bat is the unique method it is constructed or assembled. The bats are constructed in the same manner, with unique adjustments made during the design process to ensure that they satisfy specific requirements.
Aluminum bats are made of hollow aluminum alloy tubes that are connected together. The tubes have diameters ranging from 2 to 3 inches and are cut with a saw to the necessary length, which can be anywhere between 22 and 35 inches.
Shaping the bat
The tube is placed into a tapering machine for further shaping. The tube is slid over a mandrel bar before being fed into the tapering machine, where two dyes revolve around the exterior of the tube to create the tapered appearance. Three passes through the machine will be made by the tube. The first two passes are used to stretch the tube and thin its walls, while the third pass is used to form the tube into the conventional shape of a bat, complete with a long handle that extends all the way up to the barrel.
Treating the bat
In order to make sure that the bat is straight and balanced, it is placed on a measuring equipment. Otherwise, a little amount of hydraulic pressure is supplied, and the bat is bent until it conforms to the prescribed form. It is subsequently subjected to a 20-minute heat treatment in a sodium nitrate bath. Temperatures between 800 and 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit are used to harden the aluminum in the solution. Once quenched, the bat is placed in an aging furnace for up to 12 hours at 300 degrees Fahrenheit to strengthen the aluminum in the bat’s wing structure.
Paint and decals
Each bat is tested for correct density before being hung from its handle so that heavy-duty paint can be sprayed with a paint sprayer to give it a more finished appearance. Afterwards, the bat is placed in a silk-screening machine, which will imprint the company’s logo on the bat. Designer decals are dipped into an adhesive solution and applied by hand on the bats in the right locations. They are then re-hung and coated with polyurethane to protect them from the elements. The bat is then set upright, with the handle end closest to the ground, and the plastic top cap is inserted into the top of the bat, securing the bat into place.
Using a welding machine, an aluminum knob is welded to the bottom of the bat’s handle at the bottom of the bat’s handle. After that, the handle grip is attached. An employee places the bat into a machine and spins it gently while another expert feeds the grip in order to make a non-slippery handle. The grip is then covered with a tiny strip of vinyl tape at the top to prevent it from pulling away from the hand.
How Are Baseball Bats Made? Wood Vs Aluminum Vs Composite
There’s no better feeling than getting a brand new baseball bat, and I’m sure that everyone out there remembers the day that they received their very first baseball bat in their life. There’s something incredibly exciting about a new bat that’s incredibly difficult to explain – you know what it is, I know what it is, and every baseball fanatic out there knows what it is, and it’s the reason that we love the game so much, but it’s a magical feeling that we can’t quite put into words. When you get a new bat, there’s something incredibly exciting about it that’s incredibly difficult to explain.
Whatever style of baseball bat you choose, whether it’s an old-school wooden bat or a more contemporary metal bat, there’s a very intriguing process that goes into its creation.
It is our goal in this essay to obtain a better grasp of those same processes, in order to come to a better comprehension of where the new bat sensation originates from.
Step1)Source the wood
The process of making a wood bat is complicated, but the most important step is locating the ideal piece of wood.Most of the best bat manufacturers have relationships with mills in the United States and Canada that supply them with the highest quality grains of beech, ash, maple, and birch.More often than not, the wood is not only harvested but also cut into the appropriate shape at the mill.First, the wood must be cut into long rectangles and then dowelled into a cylindrical shape.
Step2)Shaping the bat
There are some people who form their bats by hand, however for mass manufacturing, bats are sculpted using computer-aided design (CAD) (computer-aided design). It is possible to design the template requirements using computer software, which may then be sent to a CNC lathe, which can quickly shape the wood into the desired bat form. Once the bat has been formed on the lathe, it must be examined for flaws before being used. Splits, knots, and other defects in the wood can all be considered imperfections.
This is an extremely important step in the process. It is necessary to sand the bats many times with different grades of sanding paper in order to achieve the nicest surface possible. Sanding is also important for the general comfort of the bat as it is held in the hand.
It is only after the cutting, shaping, and sanding that a bat is suitable for customisation, therefore the final stage of the process is where the maker may really express themselves. Now that the wood has been stained and coated to strengthen its strength and longevity, the bat may be painted in any color or with any distinctive pattern. From here, some bespoke bats are etched and customised with specific lettering or logos, while others are left unadorned.
Maple vs Ash vs Birch
A little study is required in order to get the most out of your bat when it comes to selecting the sort of wood to use for your bat, which is not a simple task. Most wood bats are manufactured from one of three woods: maple, ash, or birch, and we’ll go over each variety in detail to assist you in making your decision.
Maple is a highly thick wood that is known for its ability to withstand high-velocity pitches and withstand the test of time. It is frequently the wood of choice for professionals. A denser wood will help give the bat a more dynamic appearance. It’s time to get a little more technical now, shall we? Maple is classified as a diffuse-porous wood, which means it has a lot of pores. As a result, the following applies:
- In addition, it will not split
- B) the more hits it gets, the denser it becomes
Maple has a number of disadvantages, the most significant of which is that it is more vulnerable to humidity than other wood species. In a humid area, the wood will absorb moisture and become heavier.
Ash is a classic wood bat material that has been in use for a long time by makers of baseball bats. When compared to maple, one of the most distinguishing characteristics of ash is its greater flexibility. In other words, ash bats are simpler to whip and create more speed in the impact than other types of bat. In its natural state, ash is continually drying out, and an ash bat’s moisture content will not always remain at its currently low level during the bat’s whole life. An unintended consequence of this is that ash bats are more susceptible to splintering than other types of wood bats, resulting in them being less durable than maple.
Because birch is not as sturdy as maple, its biggest disadvantage is that birch bats will dent on their first contact, which is why they are not as popular. A softer surface also has the additional effect of reducing the power output of the bat, particularly when compared to maple.
How Aluminum Baseball Bats Are Made
You’ve come to the right place if you prefer the “ping” of an aluminum bat when you hit the ball over the “snap” of a wood bat when hitting the ball. Let’s take a look at the process that goes into making the ideal aluminum baseball bat.
The procedure begins with aircraft-grade aluminum rods that are chopped into small lengths known as blanks, which are then assembled together. These blanks are then sent through a CNC lathe, which drills a tunnel through the middle of the blank, just like with wood bats. The blank is then tapered in the next step. This is accomplished with the use of a 300-tonne weight that forces a shaping tool into the tunnel, stretching and tapering the blank into a more recognizable, bat-like form. After it has been cleaned, the blank is stretched once more, this time with a 400-tonne weight on top of it.
Once the blank has been shaped into its longer form, it must be checked to ensure that it is aligned.
If there are any defects, these may be corrected to guarantee that the bat is straight.
In order to connect the bat’s cap, this one is meant to trim the bat down to its final length and thread the inside edge of the tip with a threaded needle.
Now that the bat has been properly shaped and sized, it must be smoothed down to improve comfort, aerodynamics, and the ability of the paint to adhere to the metal’s surface. The bat is machine sanded to provide the smoothest possible finish.
The final color of the bat is achieved by the application of heavy-duty spray paint. This paint is also waterproof, which ensures that the bat will not be harmed by the elements over the course of time. After the paint has dried, the trademark information and any other aesthetically pleasing ornamental elements can be applied. Finally, a layer of polyurethane is sprayed onto the bat to provide an additional layer of protection, after which the plastic end cap is attached.
How Composite Baseball Bats Are Made
A composite bat is a bat that is either partially or totally built of a strong carbon fiber polymer known as a composite. A composite bat can be either partially or completely composed of carbon fiber polymer. Carbon fiber bats offer a little more flexibility than other types of bats, making them an excellent tool for improving your striking technique. Here’s how they’re put together.
These bats begin as sheets of carbon fiber that have been impregnated with resin. The sheets of carbon fiber are fused together with the help of a hot iron to form a stacked stack of carbon fiber. As a result of this, the layers are passed through a high-pressure steel roller, which fuses the layers together and flattens them down. From here, the pressed carbon fiber layers are sliced into enormous square sheets, which will be utilized to form the shape of the bat when it is finally assembled.
A layer of polypropylene tape is put around the template after the sheets have been wrapped around it to remove any air pockets.
A sheath of carbon fiberglass is applied and fastened with tape once the outer layer has been baked away.
From here, it is placed into a mold, into which an epoxy resin is poured and heated to form a solid carbon bat. A second machine is then used to extract the template that was initially used to shape the carbon fiber sheets at the beginning of the process, which is now removed.
Now that the bat has taken shape, it must be put through its paces to verify that it maintains its accuracy, strength, and flexibility. A number of tests are carried out with the help of calibrating equipment that has been particularly constructed.
The following step in the production process comprises another lathe that spins the bat at high speed against a sanding tool to ensure that the bat’s surface is completely smooth over its whole length.
The bat is immediately dipped in black primer and allowed to dry after it has been removed from the lathe. Once the paint has dried, the bat can be painted and adorned according to the design specifications. Finally, plastic covers are applied, and the bats are weighed to ensure that they fit the criteria of the regulatory bodies involved.
Wood vs Aluminum vs Composite
This is a long-running controversy within the baseball community. Which bat is the most effective? Wood, metal, or a composite material are all options. A lot of it boils down to the level at which you’re playing, your playing style, and occasionally your batting posture, as well as your financial situation. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type of bat.
Wooden bats are typically utilized by professional players at the highest level. There are a variety of causes behind this. For starters, they take far more ability to handle, and using a wooden bat is considered a professional tradition. Second, the MLB picks wood because it is a more secure bet type when swung at such high speeds, according to the league.
- Generally speaking, they are less costly than other varieties of bats. There are several different types of wood to pick from. Wood bats are commonly used by professionals because they give superior swing mechanics and feel. There will be more options for customizing in terms of weight, style, and length.
- Because it is more difficult to use, it is not a good choice for younger players. Wood bats have a shorter life span and are more prone to splintering. The bat is heavier than other varieties of bats.
Aluminum bats can be used at all levels outside of professional leagues, making them ideal for younger players and players in college and high school leagues. They are also generally considered to be easier to use than wood bats, making them ideal for younger players and players in college and high school leagues.
- Generally speaking, they are less costly than composite bats. Excellent for chilly weather
- Lighter in weight, making it simpler to swing and produce speed
- They are less prone to breaking than wood bats. They are easy to use since they have a large sweet spot.
- Aluminum bats have a tendency to dent. At a higher level of performance, wood bats are not as effective. Generally speaking, they are heavier than composites.
Composite bats are the lightest form of bat available, making them an excellent choice for younger athletes. They also shake less on contact and have a better balanced swing weight, making them an excellent alternative for anyone outside of the professional leagues who wants to be comfortable while playing baseball.
- Composite bats, as opposed to wood and aluminum bats, have a lower swing weight on average. Because it is made of tougher materials, it has a good weight to strength ratio.
- They are the most costly of all the bat species. Require a time of transition
- Composite bats will break with use over time.
Why do MLB Players Use Wooden Bats Over Aluminum?
The Major League Baseball outlawed the use of aluminum bats for a variety of reasons, which we briefly discussed in the preceding section, but let’s go over them in greater depth now. Aluminum bats allow players to create higher exit speed, and a professional armed with a metal bat might apply a significant amount of force on a ball, putting the lives of other players and spectators at risk. Beyond the obvious safety concerns, baseball is a sport with rich history, and wooden bats have always been used, so it’s a matter of adhering to the rules and customs established by the organization.
And, let’s be honest, professional players don’t require the additional assistance of a larger bat or a bat that is simpler to swing if they are already capable of crushing with a wooden bat.
How Wood Baseball Bats Are Made
Although the process of manufacturing a wooden bat can be time-consuming, we would be derelict if we did not highlight the most vital component of the process, which begins working long before we do. You need the proper piece of wood in order to make the greatest possible bat. The eastern half of the United States and Canada are home to a number of mills, all of which supply us with high-quality ash, birch, maple, and beech. It is necessary to harvest the trees and transport them to the mills, where they are cut (formed into rectangles), doweled (rounded out into cylinders), and dried (using a VAC/Kiln to achieve the proper moisture content levels).
After they have been dried, they are separated according to the straightness of their grain (the straighter the grain, the better), weight, and the presence of obvious flaws, and then graded.
Storage and preparation
As soon as we get the skids of wood, they are unloaded and weighed individually before being checked for grain straightness and being placed in our wood library. Our library is divided into sections based on weight and species, and each section is structured in a manner that ensures the highest level of quality control from the moment it is received to the time it is delivered to you. Our comprehensive library is also the key to avoiding any errors, miscommunications, or time wastage. When we get an order, we are provided with a great deal of detailed information, the most significant of which is the bat model.
The Custom Crafting Processing Begins
A billet is chosen and readied before being dispatched to the cutting floor once an order has been received. After that, we place the billet into a CNC lathe, which cuts the billet with razor-sharp mechanical accuracy to meet the exact requirements of the model that was required. When it comes out, though, it’s clear that something is still “off”—or “on,” in this case—because we leave knobs protruding from either end of the bats to enable for our machinery to firmly hold them in place. For the most part, though, the shaping is completed, and the finished product is then evaluated for straightness of grain, weight, and flaws (such as knots, chatter marks and so forth).
Once we’ve obtained a bat that we believe is of good enough quality, it is sent to our sanding station for further processing.
The sanding station is where you will first see the high level of craftsmanship in our bats. Each bat is subjected to no fewer than six rounds of intense sanding to ensure that it is as smooth and pleasant as possible when it is finished.
After the sixth cycle, the bat is “boned” in order to compress the grains and give it an additional “pop” and longer life span overall. After that, it is subjected to one more sanding cycle, which is referred to as the ” polish sand “, in order to get a good gloss.
The ends of the product are removed at the cutting station, and you can nearly see the finished result. The only uncertainty is whether or not the bat in question will actually make it to the “finished” condition. Up to this point, it has been visually reviewed multiple times, and if any problems have been discovered, we have been made aware of them. However, just because some of them have been labeled as “blems” does not always imply that we will toss them away or turn them into firewood.
In addition to being divided into a dozen or so different categories (with our very finest being placed in theElitecategory), the blems are given the opportunity to test their mettle on the baseball field as well. However, all of them, including those that have been marked during the cutting process, are subjected to a sanding procedure to assure smoothness and safety before being placed in a separate section for sale under the heading “XX – Blemishes.” They are sold at great discounts with the express knowledge that they will not be expected to survive as long or function as well as our finished models, which are sold at full price.
Despite this, we have received several compliments on them from customers who have referred to them as the “perfect practice bats” or “batting cage bats.” And, even with the previously stated knowledge of quality, we provide a slight discount to those who purchase a large quantity of our blems.
The “finishing” phase is the next step for those bats that have made it through the quality-control process thus far. Following labeling and possible cupping to make the end of the bat less end-heavy, the bat is delivered to the finish room, where it will be polished and finished to the customer’s requirements. In the finish room, the bat is stained in accordance with the choices provided by the buyer when the bat was originally put to their basket. (Despite all of the advantages we have received so far in our approach, this has been dubbed the “most thrilling” stage.
There are almost 1000 different color choices when you combine the colors of the handle, barrel, and logo/text.
(It also gives Viper bats a gleaming sheen that makes them appear almost as lovely as the distance you can see from them.) Sorry for the shameless plug, /endShamelessPlug.) As soon as the bat has dried fully, it is branded, laser etched with the customer’s unique writing if required (in which case additional stain and spray is applied), and then delivered to the shipping department.
When the bat is ready, all that’s left is for the clever, enlightened, web-savvy folks up front to tenderly wrap the bats in their cozy, tight bags and take them away, escorted by teams of wild stallions, white doves, and a ceremonial procession, to their final destination.
Swing Hard, Hit Hard
This is our favorite portion, because it involves getting your bat, taking it out into the world, and doing havoc. You have our full support if you are holding one of our bats, regardless of whatever side you are playing for. You are also representing Team Viper, therefore we are rooting for you. As a result, go ahead and choose your ideal bat.
Interested In Making Your Own?
Check out Woodbillets.com if you’re a hobbyist who’s interested in building or just finishing your own bat. In that location, you will have access to both wood billets for cutting from scratch and pre-cut bats for finishing if you do not want to make your own bats. 2004-2021 Viper Bats, Inc. reserves the rights to the trademark American MadeCopyright Policy Regarding Personal Information
How Baseball Bats are Made
Amazon Associates Program: I receive a commission for qualifying orders made via my links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links in this post, I will receive a commission. Baseball was originally played using sticks, which were used to strike the ball. However, as the game progressed, players began to employ wood bats, which they either carved themselves or purchased from a store. Because there is currently no restriction on the structure of baseball bats, there has been a great deal of experimentation with regard to the size and shape of baseball bats.
You are no longer permitted to use any custom-made bats or bats with incorrect dimensions.
Several questions emerge at this point, including: How do baseball bat manufacturers create baseball bats today?
And there are additional questions like this.
Types of Baseball Bats
Before we begin learning about the process of creating a bat, it is necessary to understand the two most frequent forms of bats that exist. Little leagues and young leagues can both benefit from the usage of aluminum bats. These bats are lightweight, which gives the hitter an advantage over the competition. Small or youth leagues can also benefit from the usage of wood bats, depending on the player’s preferences. While only wood bats are permitted in the main or professional leagues, it is considered that professional players possess sufficient powers and talents to negate the need for any further benefit from the bat.
How are Baseball Bats Made?
There are significant differences in the manufacturing processes of wooden and aluminum bats. It is also necessary to be familiar with the many types of wood that may be used to construct a baseball bat. However, only one sort of wood is utilized in the production of each individual bat.
You’re probably wondering, “What kind of wood can be used to construct a baseball bat?” Depending on the wood used, the baseball bats can be fashioned from one of six distinct types of wood. Major League Baseball permits the use of six different types of wood in its stadiums, including:
- White ash, true hickory, red oak, sugar maple, yellow birch, and Japanese ash are all examples of hardwoods.
Unless otherwise stated, the bulk of the bats are constructed of Sugar Maple or White Ashwood.
The Process of Making a Wooden Baseball Bat
Take a look at this little video to learn more about how Louisville Slugger manufactures its industry-leading wooden baseball bats. In order to create a cylindrical shape, the wood is first placed in a contemporary lathe, which turns it. The weight is determined, and after that, the object is placed on a contemporary lathe machine, which turns it into a crude baseball bat. It takes around 3 minutes for one of the newest lathe machines to give the raw wood a rough form resembling that of a bat.
Now, the final form of the baseball bat is achieved manually by eliminating the excess wood with a chisel in order to get an exact length, weight, and drop weight for the bat.
Using an electric sander prior to painting the bat, any rough edges may be smoothed off to give it a more professional appearance, which is important.
After the bat has been painted, the brand name, model number, and other details are added to the bat with permanent markers.
How are Aluminium Bats Made?
This brief movie will walk you through the whole process of making an aluminum bat, which is used by a large number of amateur baseball players. The process of creating an aluminum bat begins with the cutting of aluminum rods into bats of a comparable length and diameter. These aluminum rods are fed into a computer-controlled lathe, which cuts the rod’s inner portion to length. As a result, it becomes hollow in the middle. These little aluminum rods have now been stretched to a length that is double their original length.
- The manual examination is performed in order to determine whether or not the bat is straight.
- This is a very crucial stage since a bat that is not straight can have a significant impact on a player’s performance.
- The bat is painted with heavy-duty paint since it is used frequently in the game and is subjected to a great deal of punishment.
- The metal knob is fused to the handle by the use of welding, and the plastic end cap is placed onto the end of the bat to complete the assembly.
Synthetic leather, lizard skin grip, or any other grip is wrapped around the handle to give a non-slip surface for the user. Finally, the process of creating an aluminum baseball bat has come to a successful conclusion.
Even while all bat manufacturers use the same procedure, there might be some variations from one business to another depending on whether they’re producing aBBCOR bat for power hitters or a Drop 10 USA bat. Some firms utilize white ash wood for their wood bats, while others use maple wood, because these are the two most often used woods in the industrial industry. Feel free to post any questions you may have about the production of baseball bats in the comment section below this article.
Baseball bat – Wikipedia
Baseball As America, a traveling exhibit by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, features four historically significant baseball bats on display. From left to right: Babe Ruth’s bat used to hit his 60th home run during the 1927 season, Roger Maristo’s bat used to hit his 61st home run during the 1961 season, Mark McGwire’s bat used to hit his 70th home run during the 1998 season, and Sammy Sosa’s bat used to hit his 66th home run during the same season. It is a smooth wooden or metal club that is used in the sport ofbaseball in order to strike the ball after it has been thrown by the pitcher.
Although traditionally, bats weighing up to 3 pounds (1.4 kg) were swung, currently, bats weighing 33 ounces (0.94 kg) are typical, with the highest weights ranging from 34 ounces (0.96 kg) to 36 ounces (0.98 kg) (1.0 kg).
Each of the zones of a baseball bat has a specific function. The “barrel” of the bat refers to the thick section of the bat where the ball is intended to be struck. According to the barrel’s structure and swinging technique, the region of the barrel that is optimal for hitting the ball is referred to as the “sweet spot.” The “top,” “end,” or “cap” of the bat refers to the end of the barrel of the bat. The barrel narrows as it approaches the “handle,” which is comparably small, allowing batters to securely grasp the bat in their hands on the opposite side of the cap from the top.
In baseball, the phrase “lumber” refers to a bat that is frequently used, especially when it is wielded by a highly skilled hitter.
In the case of a 30-ounce, 33-inch-long baseball bat, the bat drop is negative three (30 x 33 = -3).
The shape of the bat has evolved over time to become more sophisticated. Baseball hitters were known to mold or whittle their own bats by hand during the mid-19th century, resulting in a wide variety of forms, sizes, and weights. There were flat bats, round bats, short bats, and obese bats, to name a few variations.
Earlier bats were known to be far heavier and bigger than the bats that are presently controlled. The forms of knives, as well as the patterns of their handles, were explored extensively during the nineteenth century. Bats today are much more consistent in their appearance.
Emile Kinst was given Patent No. 430,388 on June 17, 1890 for a “better ball-bat.” The patent was for a “improved ball-bat.”
- Emile Kinst received his patent for the ball-bat, sometimes known as the banana bat, on June 17, 1890. In order to be called a banana bat, the bat’s form is shaped like a banana. According to Kinst, the purpose of his invention is to “provide a ball-bat which shall produce a rotary or spinning motion of the ball in its flight to a greater degree than is possible with any present known form of ball-bat, and thus to make it more difficult to catch the ball, or if caught, hold it, and thus to further modify the conditions of the game.” The mushroom bat, invented by Spalding in 1906, is an example of this. The Spalding firm created a bigger baseball bat with a mushroom-shaped knob on the handle in response to the increased size of baseball bats in the 1900s. The WrightDitsons Lajoie baseball bat, as a result, allowed the hitter to achieve a more even distribution of weight across the whole length of the bat. This bat featured a standard-sized barrel, but it also had two knobs on the grip for more control. The lowest knob was located at the bottom of the handle, while the other knob was approximately two inches above the lowest knob on each side of the handle. Because the knob is located in the middle of the grip, this was created to allow for more space between the hands during playing. When hitters choked up on the bat, the second knob allowed a stronger grip with the mushroom-shaped handle
- In 1990, Bruce Leinert had the concept of putting an axehandle on the baseball bat, which became a popular design feature. In 2007, he submitted a patent application for the ‘Axe Bat,’ and the bat began to be utilized in the collegiate and professional ranks over the next few years. Axe handled bats were used by the Marietta CollegePioneers baseball team to win the NCAA Division III World Series in 2012. Several Major League Baseballplayers, includingMookie Betts,Dustin Pedroia,George Springer,Kurt Suzuki, and Danby Swanson, have adopted the bat handle.
Materials and manufacture
Baseball bats are commonly composed of either hardwood or a metal alloy, depending on the sport (typically aluminum). The majority of wooden bats are constructed of ash, while other woods such as maple, hickory, and bamboo are sometimes used. Since the release of the first major league sanctioned model in 1997, hickory bats have fallen out of favor due to their heavier weight, which slows down bat speed, but maple bats have gained popularity as a result of their lighter weight, which speeds up bat speed.
- While breaking baseball’s single-season home run record in 2001 and the lifetime home run record in 2007, Barry Bonds utilized maple bats throughout both of those seasons.
- The label on each bat is placed on the side of the wood that is more susceptible to mechanical failure.
- The bat is regarded to be stiffer and less prone to shatter when it is oriented in this manner.
- In the case of bats made of ash, labels will often be located where the grain spacing is the most extensive.
- The use of maple bats in particular was formerly suspected (around 2008) of potentially shattering in a way that resulted in a large number of sharp edges, which may result in more deadly projectiles when they were broken.
- A constant stream of anecdotal reports of sales at sporting goods retailers suggests that maple is overtaking ash as the most widely used new baseball bat material in the United States at this time.
- Despite the strictness of league rules, there is much of room for individual variation, with many hitters deciding on their own bat profile or one that has been utilized by a successful batter.
- For example, Babe Ruth’s template, which became popular among major-league players after his death, is housed at the Louisville Slugger archives, where it has been numbered R43 since its creation.
- As soon as the basic bat has been turned, it is imprinted with the manufacturer’s name, the serial number, and sometimes even the signature of the player who is endorsing it on the other side of the wood from its best side.
A rounded head is next, but approximately 30 percent of players prefer a “cup-balanced” head, in which a cup-shaped indentation is formed in the head; this was first brought to the big leagues in the early 1970s by José Cardenal; this lightens the bat and shifts the center of gravity closer to the handle.
At the end of the process, the bat is stained in one of many conventional colors. These include natural, red, black, and a two-tone blue and white combination.
Environmental threat to ash wood
More than 50 million trees have been destroyed by theemerald ash borer, an alien beetle that was mistakenly introduced into the United States from Asia. It is now threatening the groves of ash trees in New York’s Adirondack Mountains that are used to create baseball bats. The beetle is likely able to survive in an environment that was previously too cold for it due to global temperature rise.
When it comes to the American major leagues, Rule 1.10(a) stipulates that the bat must be a smooth, round stick with a diameter of not more than 2.61 inches at its thickest point and a length of not more than 42 inches. The bat will be made from a single piece of solid wood. Bats are not permitted to be hollowed or corked — that is, to be filled with a foreign substance such as cork in order to lower their weight — under any circumstances. However, this theory was contested as being implausible on the Discovery Channel series MythBusters, when it was demonstrated that corking may enhance bat speed without significantly diminishing striking power.
Metal alloy bats are typically viewed as having the ability to strike a ball quicker and further with the same amount of force as wood bats.
Metal alloy bats have the ability to launch a ball up to 60 ft 6 in (18.44 m) out from a pitcher’s head at a velocity that is far too high for the pitcher to avoid being hit in the head by the ball in time.
High school baseball in the United States is played as follows:
- The bat’s diameter cannot be greater than 2 +5 8inches (67 mm) when measured in relation to its breadth and length. Its “drop” (the difference between inches of length and ounces of weight) must be no greater than 3: In order to be legal, a bat measuring 34 inches (863.6mm) in length must weigh at least 31 ounces (880 g). The bat may be made of any safe solid uniform material
- However, the National Federation of State High School Associationsrules specify that only “wood or non-wood” materials may be used in the construction of the bat. A BBCOR (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution) bat must be utilized in order for an aluminum bat to be legally used in a game. This is because it has been discovered that when this ratio is exceeded, a pitcher loses his capacity to protect himself.
Depending on the league (such as Little Leaguebaseball), the bat may not be larger than 2 14 inches (57 mm) in diameter for players aged 12 and younger, or less. However, in many other leagues (such as the PONY League Baseball and the Cal Ripken League Baseball), the diameter of the bat cannot be greater than 2 + 3 4 inches (70 mm). There are restrictions on how much and where a baseball player can use a baseball bat while applyingpine tarto to the ball. Rule 1.10(c) of the Major League Baseball Rulebook states that it is not permitted to be more than 18 inches above the bottom handle.
In succeeding years, rules 1.10 and 6.06 were amended to better represent the objective of Major League Baseball, as demonstrated by the league president’s decision.
Rule 6.06 only applies to bats that have been captured “altered or tampered with in such a way that the distance factor is improved or that the baseball exhibits an unexpected reaction This includes bats that have been filled, have a flat surface, have been nailed, have been hollowed, have been grooved, or have been coated with a material such as paraffin, wax, or other similar substance.” There is no longer any reference of a “illegally hit ball” in the document.
In 2001, the Major League Baseball permitted the use of Gorilla Gold Grip Enhancer in major and minor league games as a replacement to pine tar, which was previously prohibited.
Care and maintenance
A baseball bat that was used in a game and autographed by Tony Gwynn Players might be quite fussy about the bats that they use. All of Ted Williams’ baseball bats were cleaned with alcohol every night, and he carried them to the post office for frequent weighings. According to him, “bats gather up moisture and dirt that is laying about on the ground,” and they can acquire an ounce or more in a relatively short period of time. He also took great care to ensure that his bats did not gather moisture and so acquire weight by storing them in humidors, one of which was located in the clubhouse and another which was transportable for use on the road.
His explanation was that the sawdust serves as a “buffer” between the bats and the rest of the environment, absorbing any moisture before it can permeate into the wood.
In addition to animal bones, other materials such as rolling pins, soda bottles, and the edge of a porcelain sink have been utilized as boning materials.
He would soak them in a vat of motor oil in his basement and then hang them up to dry.
A fungo bat is a specifically constructed bat that is used for practice by baseball and softball coaches. There is no consensus on where the wordfungo() came from, although the Oxford English Dictionary thinks that it is derived from the Scottish fung, which means “to throw, toss, or fling.” A fungo is a baseball bat that is longer and lighter than a regular bat, and it has a lower diameter as well. In order to hit balls thrown into the air by the hitter, rather than pitched balls, the bat is built to do so.
During fielding practice, coaches hit a large number of balls, and the weight and length of the balls allow the coach to hit balls repeatedly with good precision.
- Baseball bats made of composite materials
- Pink baseball bats
- A list of baseball bat manufacturers
- Cricket bats
- Softball bats
- AbJenn Zambri. “Size Matters: The Top 10 “Biggest” Players in Major League Baseball History.” Bleacher Report is a sports news website. Beckham, Jeff (13 September 2015)
- Retrieved 13 September 2015
- (August 18, 2014). “Using an axe handle on a baseball bat gives you greater power and fewer injuries.” Wired.com. on the 31st of July, 2018, from McAuley, Grant (May 19, 2018). “The Braves’ Swanson has switched to an axe handle bat as his preferred weapon.” The Game 92.9 is a radio station that broadcasts games. Obtainable on July 31, 2018
- Jeff Passan is the author of this article (June 23, 2015). “Why Dustin Pedroia’s Axe Bat, Dustin Pedroia, may be instrumental in making the round handle obsolete.” Yahoo Sports is a sports news website. Accessed July 31, 2018
- AbPatterson, Brittany. “Baseball Bats Threatened by Invasive Beetle”. Retrieved July 31, 2018. Scientific American is a magazine dedicated to science and technology. Scientific American is a magazine dedicated to science and technology. Canadian Sports Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 3 (August 2008), p. 8 (Publication Mail Agreement40993003, Oakville, ON)
- “The Well Is Effectively Dead.” Retrieved on November 21, 2017. NPR.org, accessed September 20, 2010. Retrieved on September 13, 2015
- “MLB restricts use of several maple bats in lower leagues
- Safety concerns mentioned.” archive.li.com, September 11, 2012. Retrieved on September 13, 2015. The original version of this article was published on September 11, 2012. CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- Abcd”Wood science and how it applies to wooden baseball bats”.woodbat.org. Retrieved 14 July 2017. CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- “Wood bats – on which “side” should the ball’s impact be?”.baseball-fever.com. Retrieved14 July2017
- Abc”Safety testing for maple bats mandated”.baseball-fever.com. Retrieved13 September2015
- Abc”Wood bats – on which “side” should the ball’s impact be?”.baseball-fever.com. Major League Baseball is a professional baseball league in the United States. The following website was accessed on July 14, 2017: “Hitting with Wood”.woodbat.blogspot.com. 3rd of March, 2009. “Maple and Ash Baseball Bats May Strike Out,” according to a report published on July 14, 2017. NPR.org published an article on July 4, 2008, titled abc”Babe Ruth modified the design of bats to have a thinner handle,” retrieved on September 13, 2015. Review by a spokesman (Spokane, Washington). The Associated Press published an article on March 11, 1979, on page C5
- Brian Mann is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom. “A Beetle May Soon Strike Out Baseball’s Famous Ash Bats,” reports the New York Times. NPR.org is the official website of National Public Radio. “Official Baseball Rules” were retrieved on November 21, 2017. (PDF). Major League Baseball is a professional baseball league in the United States. 2012-05-07
- Retrieved 2012-05-07. Season 5 of Mythbusters features a “Corked Bat,” and the “National Collegiate Athletic Association Standard for Testing Baseball Bat Performance” (PDF) is available at acs.psu.edu as of October 30, 2006. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- “Baseball Rules Committee Focuses on Clarification of Bat Standards and Sportsmanship During Pre-Game Practice”Archived from the original on 24 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- “NCHSAA Baseball Rules Committee Focuses on Clarification of Bat Standards and Sportsmanship During Pre-Game Practice”Archived from the original on 24 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- “NCHSAA Baseball Rules Committee Focuses on Clarification of Bat Standards and Archived from the original on July 6, 2010, via the Wayback Machine
- 2007 RegulationRule ChangesArchivedSeptember 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- “2017 Rules and Regulations for PONY Baseball” (PDF).bsbproduction.s3.amazonaws.com. “2017 Rules and Regulations for PONY Baseball” (PDF).bsbproduction.s3.amazonaws.com. Obtainable on July 14, 2017
- Dana Heiss Grodin and Heiss Grodin (March 7, 2001). “Equipment and product information.” According to USA Today. The original version of this article was published on March 4, 2016. Sandra L. Lee is the author of this work (December 27, 2001). “For the time being, the mansion is still standing.” Lewiston Morning Tribune, p. 1A. Lewiston, Maine. Obtainable on November 7, 2012
- Baseball and softball bat physics and acoustics — How baseball bats function, how bat performance is assessed, and the differences between wood, metal, and composite bats are all covered in this section. Baseball Bat Construction
- “Maple and Ash Baseball Bats May Strike Out.” Woodturning Online —Making a Baseball Bat. It was the talk of the town. On July 4, 2008, National Public Radio broadcast a story.