Baseball is a bat and ball game played between two teams. The two teams take turns batting and fielding. The pitcher throws the ball towards a player of the batting team who hits it with a bat. The objective of the batting team, also known as the offensive team, is to hit the ball into the field and try to reach from one base to the other. If the player completes all the bases, it’s called a run. On the other hand, the objective of the defensive team, which is the fielding team is to prevent the batting team from running and reaching the base.
Baseball has evolved from the ancient folk games played across Britain and Ireland, just like the other bat and ball games. The confirmed origin of the game is unknown and a controversial subject. Over the years, the baseball bat’s shapes have changed. The diameters of the bats have expanded and contracted, and various alterations have been made to the length of the bats. Even the material used for making the bats have changed; from hickory and ash to aluminum and maple.
Brief history of Baseball Bats and Top manufacturers
The form of the baseball bat has become more refined over time. In the early years of the game, the batters were known to make their bats by hand. This became a cause of many variations in shapes, size, length, and weights.
In 1890, Emile Kinst patented a bat that was curved in shape and was also known as the banana bat. In 1906, another innovation was made to the design of the bat. This became popular by the name of the mushroom bat because it had a mushroom-shaped knob on the handle. Later on, a two knobbed bat was also made. This bat had one knob on the lower end of the handle and the other one was at the end of the handle. In 1990 a patent was applied for the “Axe bat”.
Marucci, Rawlings, Easton, and Louisville Slugger are a few of the top-rated manufacturers of metal and wooden baseball bats. They offer top of the line bats which are used by players in international games.
Determining if you need to change your bat
You can only determine if you need to change your bat or not by using it but also be aware that using a broken or a dead bat can affect your game as it can break at any point. The key indicator of knowing if the bat is dead or not are using the bat, seeing it, and most importantly, listening to the sound the bat makes when it hits the ball.
Can you see any cracks: Bats are made of different materials nowadays. To know if the bat is broken and not fit for use, you have to keep this in mind. Bats made from wood or composite bats can crack, and bats made of aluminum can bend.
For a bat made of wood, if you see a crack that has split the bat in half then that bat isn’t fit for use, and is a dead bat. To be sure that there are no minute cracks in the bat, take a closer look at your bat for hairline fractures and spiral cracks. This is important because, in the future, these little cracks can become big and break the bat while playing.
If you see spider webs in the fibers of the bat, this can be a good thing in most cases as this increases the trampoline effect and give a bigger bounce to the ball when it hits the bat. But eventually, these spiderwebs do turn into cracks. At this point, you can easily know that you need to choose a new bat and find a better replacement. But don’t let the paint chips fool you, most of the time the bats are painted in various colors according to the player’s choice and this paint can crack over time due to the weather conditions and consistent use.
For aluminum bats, as it is made of alloy so you might not find any cracks in it, but as the alloy bats get damaged, you will start seeing significant bends in various parts of the bat. The best way to find these bends is to run your hand over the bat, if you feel concaveness to it, then the performance of the bat will be affected and it would be better to change the bat and find a new one.
Unusual sounds while hitting
This is the most personal way of finding out if your bat is broken or dead. When you start using a bat for the game, you will know what sound it makes when it hits the ball, no one else will know about that specific sound. Each bat makes a different sound when it hits the ball because each bat is made different, and no two bats are the same.
You will also notice that as the bat ages, the sound it makes when it strikes the ball also changes. One of the recommended ways of finding out if the bat is broke is to hold the bat in both hands and tap the knob on the ground; if it makes a dull sound, then the bat is still strong and fit for use. If the bat is broken and you tap it on the ground, it will make a high-pitched ping.
Stings in the hands when hitting a ball
It has been noted many times that in the middle of the game a batter declares that his bat is broken. This is because they experience a sting in their hands when they strike the ball. Baseball is a mental game; if a person approaches you before the game and tells you that the bat you are using is dead or broken, then it will have a placebo effect on you, which means that you will start to believe that the bat is broken. Many bats are not broken but are accused of being broken only because of this reason.
The hands of the player can sting when the player is not hitting the sweet spot and can declare that the bat is broken or dead. If you think that you are making accurate hits every time and still the bat sting, then it is a clear sign that the bat is broken or will break eventually. So, it’s the best choice if you change your bat at this point.
Bats that are made of composite material are affected by weather and can crack or bend over time; alloy bats can bend over time. All of this depends on how often the bat is has been used. Some players start using their game bats during the practice sessions, which can affect the life of the bat.
Fungo bats can be used for the practice sessions. These bats are mostly used by coaches for conducting fielding practices. They are lighter in weight and can serve as a good alternative. During practice sessions, the players repeatedly hit the ball. This excessive use of the bat can cause damage to the bat.