Thursday, July 12, 2012

Road Trip Day 8 - Louisville Slugger

No trip to Louisville would be complete without seeing where the Louisville Slugger baseball bats are made. The Louisville Slugger is the official bat of major league baseball and accounts for 60% of the bats used by major league players. Our visit started with a film on the history of the baseball and how bats are made from the tree to the finished product. Next we got a really nice tour of the factory and saw bats being made. They make bats for sale to the general public in a variety of sizes and finishes. Bats for major league players are custom made to exact specifications for that player with his name burned into the barrel.

Unfortunately we were asked not to take pictures but there is a display showing the various steps in the process. Most bats are made either from ash or more recently maple. There is a controversy that maple bats are dangerous because they sometimes shatter on impact with the ball. I have heard baseball announcers pontificate on this when play is slow so I asked our tour guide. He said that bats made of ash or maple break in about the same number. The difference is that ash bats tend to split and maple bats tend to break into several pieces. There you have it from an expert.

They have a great museum and a wonderful gift shop. I am a sucker for museum gift shops and this one has some cool stuff. Not surprisingly this place was full of kids, especially lots of father son combinations. It is a great place for male bonding.

If by chance you would like to have a professional Louisville slugger bat with your name burned into it just like the pros, this is the only place to get it. There was quite a line. If you can't get to Louisville you can order one over the internet. They have a very nice web site. 
Look HERE.


Yogi♪♪♪ said... [Reply to comment]

That looks like a nice place to visit even if they don't want you taking photographs. I have never got used to the "plink" of metal bats, I love wooden bats.

Snowcatcher said... [Reply to comment]

What a cool place to visit! I would have loved to see the bats being made. I don't play softball anymore, but when I did play, I could hit further with an aluminum bat, but like Yogi, the sound of a wooden bat hitting the ball is something metal just can't compete with.

Cheri said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, very interesting post! thanks for sharing.

DrillerAA said... [Reply to comment]

I had a bat made for the grandson when we visited. If he makes the big show, he'll have to use it for his first at bat.