How does the grain run on baseball bats?

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I don't really care for the game, but my son is a Red Sox fan, so I have seen a lot of baseball recently. There are quite a few broken bats, and they all look to be a diagonal break; what you would expect if the grain didn't run straight the length of the bat.
Is that true, or does it just look that way? And if it's true, why don't they pay a little more attention to the grain?
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Just like a regular board the grain runs from one end to the other. Broken bats are usually the result of not holding the bat with the label either facing up or down. With the label facing up or down the grain is parallel with the ground when the bat is held horizontally and is stronger. If the label is held facing forward or backward the grain runs perpendicular to the ground when the bat is held horizontally and is naturally weaker.
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snipped-for-privacy@swbell.net says...

Generally happens when the batter goes after something coming on the inside and hits it with the thinner part of the bat. With a hard slider or cut fastball (Mariano Rivera) breaking in, the bat can definitely break against the grain.
S.
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I think that bats are more prone to breakage if stored improperly. I broke 2 wood bats, including one very thick one, during one summer storing the bat in the garage. Previously, I had stored the bats in the house and they never broke.
Puckdropper
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Sun, Oct 28, 2007, 4:26am (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@Yahoo.com (Toller) doth wonder: I don't really care for the game, but my son is a Red Sox fan, so I have seen a lot of baseball recently. There are quite a few broken bats, and they all look to be a diagonal break; what you would expect if the grain didn't run straight the length of the bat. Is that true, or does it just look that way? And if it's true, why don't they pay a little more attention to the grain?
I'd suggest looking up on-line how they make professional baseball bats, and the attention they pay.
JOAT It's not hard, if you get your mind right. - Granny Weatherwax
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(Toller) doth wonder:

I have seen on TV how a major supplier does it. Nothing special other than the type of wood, Ash. The biggest trick is placing the label in the correct position. The bats were turned out very quickly.
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I recall the controversy as to how the label should be oriented while at the plate.
It's been said that Hank Aaron was asked and said: " I don't know, I don't go to the plate to read."

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Leon wrote:

By the tens of thousands.
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The breaks do look diagonal, and also would have thought quatersawn would be used and not plain sliced. As a kid and later coaching youth baseball the lable faced you as stated. In professional baseball I have not noticed that to be true. A special bat would have some Red sox inlayed in bat. That could be the label and tell him to allways have it face him. GO RED SOX ONE TO GO
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umm.... bats are round. which surface is the face and which is the edge?
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wrote:

Imagine the grain running parallel to the ground and the label running parallel to the grain.
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Of course any long round piece of wood will have both face and quarter grain, so that's a silly thing to say. The label is on the face to encourage you to put the quarter into the arc of the bat. Gives you the support of those parallel latewood rings and keeps it from splitting along them.
Best way to minimize the problems inherent with the smaller grip would be to rive the blank rather than saw it, one would think, yet none of the shows I've seen mention anything but sawing which gets more out of a tapered trunk, but provides an angled fracture plane across the weak spot. Probably why the bats which you see being broken have angled breaks. The ones with straight grain don't....
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HeyBub wrote:

Those were mass-produced bats for the general market, _not_ the ones specifically made for individual major-leaguers. They are individually manufactured to individual specifications.
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dpb wrote:

And, although I'm not sure how true it is now as opposed to 20 years ago, at one time most major league players used Hillerich & Bradsby rather than Louisville Slugger.
Also, in the early years of the heavy bat (Ruth is reputed to have used 47-oz bat the year he hit 60 whereas now it would be rare to even find any bat over about 33 oz in a clubhouse) bats were hickory w/ a specific gravity of about 0.8 whereas as is closer to 0.6. The change was essentially required to get the mass down. It also results in a barrel diameter near the minimum allowed 2.5" rather than the then common maximum of 2.75".
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There is no minimum diameter by rule. The maximum diameter is 2.75" as you state. The maximum length is 42". I'm assuming OBR, not NCAA or FED (high school) here since you're talking about wood bats.
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Yeah, there is a pattern that a jig follows for individual player preferences. Still, the bat is turned out in a mater of a minute or two.
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Leon wrote:

But the lumber selection, etc., is far more careful than the "run-of-the-mill" bats...
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From what I learned, the manufacturer simply requests a specific type wood and weight and leaves that up to his supplier. He then verifies the weight after turning.
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Leon wrote:

Not from the tour at H&B I went on -- but it was some years ago. But, I still doubt seriously the M-L bats aren't hand selected billets, etc. The others, surely...
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On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 04:26:41 GMT, Toller wrote:

Ok it's time I came out of the shadows, I have been lurking for sometime getting the feel of this newsgroup.
What had not been mentioned is the fact that the bats now used at the major league level are more or less physical copies of the aluminum bats the players grew up using from Little League through college. The aluminum bats have a much smaller handle than the wooden bats that were in use a half century ago when I played Little League. This smaller handle makes them inherently more susceptible to breaking when going after the inside pitch as explained by samson earlier.
I have heard several announcers comment about the danger of sharp pointed bat pieces flying at the players along with the ball. This was highlighted this past season when a base coach was impaled in the neck by one of these. Fortunately nothing vital was pierced and a full recovery was made. (I would have given more exact info as to who, when, and where but I could not remember or find the facts.)
BTW, I have definitely learned many practical tips and tricks of woodworking by reading the messages here. Thanks to one and all. Now I will move back into the shadows and absorb more practical knowledge.
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