Friday, July 10, 2015

Lotta Bats

Like almost every other eleven or twelve-year old little leaguer, I had used an aluminum bat throughout my time in organized ball. But a trip one day to the sporting goods store netted me my first wood bat: a Louisville Slugger George Brett model (BB997). I wasn't much of a Brett fan at the time (I have since come to really admire him as a player!)- Dale Murphy was my guy- but it felt comfortable in my hands and, because they didn't have a Murphy model, my mom ended up buying it for me. I remember the pride I felt taking it to a game for the very first time- and the disappointment when it cracked after letting a friend use it before I had a chance to use it for my second at-bat of the evening. Despite the crack, I saved that piece of lumber and still have it to this day.

Growing up, I didn't lack much. My parents were both self-employed and made decent money, but they probably couldn't afford to keep purchasing wood bats if they were going to break as quickly as that first one did. Had I known what duct tape was back then, I would have done something stupid like trying to tape the crack and continue using the bat. 

I don't know if I had ever seen this photo before. Looks like something that would have appeared in Sports Illustrated or even on a poster.

Series 2 has one of the better inserts in recent memory- Heart of the Order.

Looking at two recently released cards got me thinking about how many bats the average player must go through in a season. I tweeted the question to both Dale Murphy and Chipper Jones but neither replied. Beckett's Chris Olds responded that, according to Louisville Slugger (and confirmed on their website), major league players order, on average, 120 bats per season. I have to wonder if that number has increased since the 90s, what with the increase of the use of maple bats (which tend to break at a greater rate than ash). Regardless, that's a lot of wood!


  1. Wow... 120 bats per player per season. That sure is a lot of wood.

  2. Why Murph aint in the Hall I will never know. Redang-dickulous if you ask me.