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The Baseball Bat: A Historical Look the Great Offensive Equalizer

If you are a fan of the game of baseball, you may not have given much thought to how the game has been changed by the historical evolution of the baseball bat.

Americans became infatuated with baseball in the early 1800s, and by 1860 the sport was definitely the ‘national pastime’, with players using early versions of baseball bats to slug the ball around a regulation field.
You probably know that Abner Doubleday invented the game of baseball, but you may not know that New Yorker, Alexander Cartwright designed the configuration and dimensions of the baseball field during the 1840s. His New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, developed the first set of league rules.

The first historical record of a league baseball game was the 1846 Knickerbocker duel with the New York Baseball Club (the Knickerbockers LOST at Elysian Fields, in Hoboken, New Jersey.
The National Association of Base Ball Players was founded in 1848, and became the first organized baseball league in the United States.
By the time this league was formed, the baseball bat had already gone through quite an evolution! Unlike the baseball bats of today, baseball bats of yore were not regulated for weight, length or anything else for that matter. Bats came in all shapes and sizes.
In the 1800s when baseball was in its infancy, baseball bats were often made by the players, and the bat might be long or short, fat or skinny, heavy or light. As the game evolved, players soon figured out that rounded baseball bats were the best.

In 1859, baseball bats were limited to 2.5″ or less in diameter, though your bat could be as LONG as you preferred, and it could be round or flat! About 10 years later, the length of all baseball bats was limited to 42″. And that length 토토사이트 limitation still applies today.
The Louisville slugger baseball bat was invented in 1884. If you are a big fan of baseball, you probably already know that! But what you may not know is that the Louisville slugger baseball bat was the brainchild of a seventeen year old by the name of John Hillerich. John and his father were woodworkers.

John attended a baseball game in Louisville, and saw a player by the name of Pete Browning get very angry after he broke his favorite bat during the game.
After the game, he asked Browning if he could make him a new baseball bat and Browning went with him to his shop, where they chose a piece of white ash wood for his new baseball bat.
The next day, Browning had a great game, and all the other players wanted to know about the bat he was using. Soon, other players were flocking to the Hillerich woodworking shop to get their own baseball bats, and the Louisville slugger was born!
During the 1890s, the regulations were changed again to specify that baseball bats must be round, and that a bat could not be flat on the end. Diameter limitations increased to 2.75″.

Metal baseball bats were invented in the 1920s, but it would be 50 years before they would be used in baseball. Today, aluminum bats are used in Little League baseball, although Major League Baseball does not use metal bats because of safety concerns and because the use of metal bats would significantly change the competition.
Bats made out of aluminum, graphite and titanium drive the ball farther and higher than wooden bats, so the use of metal bats in Major League Baseball would change the game forever!
In 1991, the ash bat was changed yet again by the design of the Baum baseball bat which has a resin core impregnated with fiber and yarn to make the bat lighter. The ash exterior was preserved, but these bats were bouncier and it was estimated that using this new lighter core bat would improve hitting speed by 5%.

From the original hickory bats of the 1800s to the ash bats of 1900 and beyond, we saw the advent of the maple bat in the early 2000s.
150 years of baseball, have wrought a lot of changes in the baseball bat and in other tools of the game and we will probably see more as the game evolves.

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