Going "up to bat" with a Louisville Slugger
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- For almost a century and a half, the Slugger brand has put Louisville on the map and on the baseball diamond.
In the Northeastern forests of the U.S., Mother Nature begins the process. Maple and Ash trees are chopped to travel hundreds of miles to be shaped up into a legendary sports tool. The bats are first cut into billets. Those billets end up at Louisville Slugger, where they are crafted into instruments of champions.
"I think a lot of people think, ‘Oh it is just a piece of wood, make a bat, right? How hard can it be?'" said Rick Redman.
Experts said that "hard" process comes down to an exact science.
"This is an absolute science, making a baseball bat," Redman said.
"The fact of the matter is, it's very hard because players are extremely particular, very superstitious even, about their bats and how they feel in their hands."
Redman emphasized the importance of the difference in the instrument and block its carved out of.
"It has to be perfect for them, but no two players are exactly alike, no two pieces of wood are exactly alike."
Redman said they have a formula for each player who swings the slugger.
As the wood goes down the line, weight gets shaved and added down to the coating, spraying and the branding.
The logo and face of the company has changed this week for the second time in its history. It is the beginning of baseball season and Louisville Slugger officials said they were excited to step up to the plate just in time.
To make sure that iconic reputation lives on, the pros were introduced to the newest innovation, the MLB prime bat. Experts say it has changed the game for all ages.
"The new MLB prime bats are made in a different way than we have ever made bats in before," Redman said.
"We select the wood in a different way, we choose the highest veneer logs and we put a harder finish on it."
Redman said a vacuum sealing process will make those bats safer, but the oldies are not going anywhere. Old and new will continue to make the sound of the American pastime in diamonds across the country.
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