Baseball Bat

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Baseball BatBaseball bat is used to hit the ball in the game of baseball. Usually it is a smooth wooden or metal rod used. In professional baseball, only wooden baseball bats are allowed.

Different Portions of a Baseball Bat :
A baseball bat is not more than 70 mm in diameter at the thickest part and not more than 1067 mm in length. It weighs up to four pounds. The baseball bat comprises different parts which are described below:

  • Barrel: It is the thickest part of the bat, where the bat is meant to hit the ball. The diameter of barrel ranges from 2.5 to 2.7 inches. The part of the barrel best for hitting the ball is often called the 'sweet spot'. The end of the barrel is not part of the sweet spot, and is simply called the tip or end of the bat.

  • Handle: The barrel narrows down, and becomes the handle. The handle is very thin, so that batters can comfortably set the bat in their fingers. Sometimes, especially on metal bats, the handle is wrapped with a rubber or cloth 'grip'.

  • Knob: Next to the handle is the 'knob' of the bat, a wider piece that keeps the bat from sliding off of the player's hands.
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Wooden Baseball Bats
Baseball bats are made of materials like woods and metals. Earlier, only wooden bats were available. There were no other choices until 1970s when metal bats came into existence. The wooden baseball bats are made of variety of woods like white ash, maple, hickory, and bamboo.
  • White Ash Baseball Bats
    Majority of wooden baseball bats are made from white ash harvested from Pennsylvania or New York. White ash is vastly used because of its hardness, strength, durability, and weight. Trees from which this wood is taken are often 50 years old.
  • Maple Baseball Bats
    Maple bats are increasing in demand because of its hardness, lightness and durability. Earlier maple was considered too heavy to make a bat. But recent development in drying wood technology has made lighter bats possible. Maple bats are costlier than white ash bats but they are stronger too.
  • Hickory Baseball Bats
    Hickory bats were used in early days of baseball. Now it has fallen into disfavor because of its heaviness than other woods.
  • Bamboo Bats
    Bamboo bats have been introduced recently in the market. Bamboos are hollow unlike other solid woods. So bamboo strips are pressed into billets and then these billets are used to make bats. The tensile strength of bamboo is greater than steels and aluminum
Aluminum Bats :
The aluminum baseball bats were introduced in 1970 and rapidly gain popularity due to its strength and light weight. As technology has improved, stronger alloys are developed, which made the bat lighter and stronger. The aluminum used in these bats is of "aircraft grade". These bats can hit the baseball significantly farther, because of the "trampoline effect" that come into play during hitting the ball.

Recent Inclusions:
  • Aluminum bats lined with titanium and graphite are recent inclusions.

  • They are light weight, strong, have larger sweet spot, and allow more swing.
Why Aluminum bats are preferred to Wooden bats :
  • Aluminum bats are lighter in weight and have high strength.
  • They can hit the ball farther.
  • They are more durable.
  • They are not easily broken as often as wooden bat.
  • They generate more bat speed and power.

Buying tips for Baseball bat:
Whether you are a contact hitter or a designated hitter, you need a right bat. To effectively turn on an inside ball you will need a bat with proper length, weight, and shape.

Weight: Players age, weight, height, strength, and hitting style determines the weight of the bat. Some useful data related to weight of bat:

Age group Player height Bat weight
8-12 years 48-52 inches 16-17 ounces
  53-60 inches 19-20 ounces
13-15 years 50-54 inches 18-20 ounces
  55-60 inches 20-24 ounces
16- 20+ years 66-68 inches 27-28 ounces
  69- 72+ inches 30-33 ounces

Length: Baseball bat should come to your waist, when standing on end. It will be best to test the bat before buying. You should choose the longest bat that you can swing with comfort. The length of a bat is usually determined by the height of the batter. For the players below 15 years, the length of bat ranges from 26 to 31 inches. Players above 16 years, need the bats of length ranging from 32 to 36 inches.
Player height Bat length
5'- 5'6'' 30''- 32''
5'6'' - 6' 33''
6' 34''

Age is also a basis of deciding the length of baseball bat. Players of different age require bats of different length. The related data is as follows :

Age Bat length
7-9 years 26''- 28''
10 -12 years 28''-31''
13 - 15 years 32''-34''
16+ 34''

Shape :
When considering the shape of a baseball bat, the barrel, taper, and grip should be kept in mind.
  • Barrel: It is the widest portion of the baseball bat in the middle, that strikes a ball. Longer and wider barrels provide a larger sweet spot.

  • Taper: It refers to the handle diameter, thus must fit comfortably in players hand. Narrower taper allows you to rotate your hand freely. Most common diameter of taper is 31/32 of an inch.

  • Grip: The metal baseball bats should have a proper leather, synthetic, or rubber grip to hold it comfortably.
Caring for wood bats:
  • After use, clean the bat with alcohol. Wipe the bat with soft cloth dipped in alcohol from top of barrel to handle.

  • Keep free from scratches and scrapes. Rub the scratched area with a piece of bone, other wood bat, or wood rolling pin.

  • When not in use keep the bat at cool and dry place. Always keep it vertical with handle end upward.

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