Chips of wood are shaping the stories of America’s pastime.
“The iconic Louisville Slugger – we have been making Major League Bats since the late 1800’s onward,” said Andrew Soliday, Marketing Director at Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
More than 100 years of history are now made in seconds at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in Kentucky
“It takes about 45-50 seconds, depending on what the model is,” said Kelly Coleman, “We usually do about 250 good professional bats a day.”
“Like our Babe Ruth notch bat,” said Andrew Soliday, “You’ll see around that bat that there’s a notch around each homer run he knocked with it. He went on a 21-game streak with it.”
The generational history continues for more than 9,000 players that have inked professional contracts with Louisville Slugger.
“We also have a Jackie Robinson game-used bat and one of my favorites – a bat that Henry Aaron used to hit his 700th home run on his race to become the home run king,” continued Soliday.
In the showroom, fans are also able to hold game-used bats from current players and MLB Hall of Famers, like Padres Tony Gwynn.
“Another wonderful area is our newly renovated bat vault,” said Soliday, “This holds nearly 3,000 of the original bat models, some even more than 100 years old.”
While the museum pays homage to the past, nearly 20% of current MLB players push the Slugger’s legacy forward.
“Players use about 90-ish bats per season,” continued Soliday, “That’s not because bats are breaking either, it’s because players are superstitious and they strike out a few times and move on from that bat. Sometimes when they’re on a hot streak and hitting, they use fewer bats.”