One of the quintessential things about baseball are bats; needless to say, you can’t think of baseball without them. There have been a number of manufacturers that lay claim to be the best wood baseball bat maker in the market. They have used varieties of wood (ash, birch, hickory, maple, etc.) and other materials (like bamboo), or a combination of any of them (called “composite”), to make baseball bats that cater to the preferences of every slugger out there.
Over the decades, these wood bat manufacturers have been perfecting the art (and maybe science) of making wood bats to ensure top performance.
The following are the top wood bat manufacturers:
1. Hillerich & Bradsby (Louisville Slugger bat)
Just recently, Hillerich & Bradsby has sold its Louisville Slugger division to Wilson Sporting Goods. But to a lot of knowledgeable baseball players and fans, the company’s name will be forever tied to its legendary baseball bat.
In 1884, a baseball player named John “Bud” Hillerich hand-crafted his first wood bat at his father’s woodworking shop. Since then, there have been over a hundred million wood bats sold, which is indeed an amazing feat. Not to mention that Louisville Slugger is the official bat of Major League Baseball (MLB).
Many of the baseball’s legendary sluggers have swung Louisville Slugger’s wood bats which include Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Ty Cobb. The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, ensures that the legacy of this famous wood bat shall be preserved and remembered.
Marucci’s name has been synonymous to quality sports equipment and gear, which include baseball gear such as hand-crafted wood bats. The company also specializes in customizing wood bats for players of all ages and skill levels.
Marucci’s expertise in making baseball equipment is no surprise since it was founded by Kurt Ainsworth and Joe Lawrence, both retired baseball players who used to suit for the Major League Baseball. Marucci’s wooden bats have also been widely used by baseball stars.
Among the popular Marucci series of wood bats include Pro Model, Pro Cut, and RBI, among others.
3. Baum Bat
Baum Bat may be a comparatively younger brand, but it has proven itself to be more than just a competitive wooden bat maker. In fact, Baum Bat may be the first company to introduce a composite wood bat.
Its late founder, Steve Baum, used to be a boat builder who had perfected his craft of building wooden boats that retained their natural aesthetic. But his boats also used the latest in technology and design that made them even more durable than their fiberglass counterparts.
Later on, Baum saw baseball players trading in traditional wood bats for bats made of other materials. This situation turned out to be a golden opportunity for him. He began to make bats using the updated technology that he had previously applied in building boats. Result was the first-ever composite wooden bat that promised to be more durable than the traditional wooden bats. And it delivered (and still does). It’s quite a revolutionary turn in the history of baseball bats.
Since then, Baum Bat has been recognized as the company that makes premium composite wood bats. Many players have highly rated Baum Bat for its durability and its ability to give a very balanced swing.
This Osaka, Japan-based company is known for its premium sports gear, including baseball gear. Mizuno is known for making high-quality baseball gear and that includes baseball bats of different types of wood: ash, maple, bamboo and composite wood. Mizuno’s baseball bats are considered some of the finest in the business. The “pop” and performance that Mizuno’s bats bring is unequaled and guarantee to boost your confidence each time you step on the home plate.
DeMarini is a Hillsboro, Oregon-based company is now operating under Wilson Sporting Goods. The company is known for its composite baseball and softball bats, especially the CF series bats. However, DeMarini won’t be left behind when it comes to wood bats, particularly specializing on maple composite bats. Apart from the high-grade materials and their durability, another best thing about DeMarini’s wood bats is that they carry unbelievable warranties, considering the fact that most wood bats have no warranty at all.
You cannot deny the power of popular branding, just like Rawlings. With a legacy of history, legacy, and premium sports gear like baseball products, you can rely on Rawlings. Its name, legacy and its logo have virtually become a part of the American baseball culture.
As for their wood bats, Rawlings is primarily known for their Big Stick which has long been the benchmark of their wood bats. However, more subsequent series like VELO has also made a huge mark and another boon to Rawlings’ popularity in the wood bats department. A length-to-weight ratio is one of the most important aspects when choosing a baseball bat. With Rawlings’ VELO wood bat, you are assured of its specific length-to-weight ratio which ensures a successful batting every time you step on the plate.