How does the grain run on baseball bats?

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"Toller" wrote...
[...]

There are a number of factors involved in the increase in broken bats. MLB players have their bats custom made, and roughly 50% are using maple now. Maple isn't as resilient as ash, IMO. That's why ash is easier to steam bend to tighter radii than is maple.
The bats today are thinner, including the handles. The strength of a cylinder is a factor of it's diameter to the 4th power. So a modern bat can be considerably weaker than an older fatter bat.
Add to that stronger players hitting 90mph fastballs, and you have more broken bats.
-- Timothy Juvenal www.tjwoodworking.com
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There was a very comprehensive article on this matter online a couple of weeks ago, wish I'd saved it. In addition to the label location issue mentioned by other posters, the article explained that for the first hundred years or so of baseball, wood was harvested from old-growth trees, resulting in denser, stronger wood. With the tremendous boom in the lumber industry, today's wood comes largely from replanted forests of less mature trees, and the quality is diminished. Another factor is today's widespread use of batting gloves. Because of the extra couple of millimeters of glove thickness, batters feel more comfortable with a correspondingly thinner bat handle. Also, there's a trend toward lighter (and therefore thinner) bats to increase bat speed and deliver more energy to the ball.
B.

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I just sold a unit to "drill" out the concave end of the bats at (insert major name company here)... I'll shoot him an e-mail and ask him...
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 01.908.542.0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills: http://www.AutoDrill.com Multiple Spindle Drills: http://www.Multi-Drill.com
V8013-R

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Here's a good article with some pictures about a place that makes bats, but it's mostly about the impact of the ash bore beetle.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/11/us/11ashbat.html?_r=1 &pagewanted=all&oref=slogin
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Wow... Secondary question from me: Would love to know how they bore out the "slugs" prior to turning them into bats... It almost looks as if they use a deep hole saw to pull out a slug from a large log from teh concave cuts in the barky remnants they show.
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 01.908.542.0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills: http://www.AutoDrill.com Multiple Spindle Drills: http://www.Multi-Drill.com
V8013-R
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Joe AutoDrill wrote:

Do you mean where the cork goes? <G>
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LOL... Only if it's a Red Sox player. <evil grin>
Seriously though, congrats to all Red Sox fans. I'm not a fan of teh game at all - last game I watched was the world series... When the yankees played the mets...
--


Regards,
Joe Agro, Jr.
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OT, but I remember the days when you could go to a major league stadium and they would give cracked bats to the fans like they do scuffed baseballs today.
I wonder which team's lawyer realized the liabilty they were subjected to via:
1 - Handing a weapon to a fan, especially considering alcohol might be involved. 2 - Giving a kid a bat, who would take it home and tape it up, and then have the bat break and hurt someone during a sand lot game.
Of course, I also remember Bat Days, when they would hand out little miniature bats to the first X thousand fans to enter the ballpark. What a concept - thousands of angry, drunk fans with team-issued weapons. How would you like to be a rent-a-cop on that day?
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I remember (c. 1965-1970) goingto the Big 5 store, bying a Hillerich and Bradsby Louisville Slugger for $4.99 (later $5.99) (Micky Mantle profile/autogragh, thin handle, with a tapered barrel), and brining them to my Little League games. They'd break (usually a friend using them, not me). I'd bring it home, Dad would glue/nail/screw it back, and we'd use them for street and sandlot games.
Good times.... good times....
-Zz
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Richard Jagels, a prof of forest biology at UMaine has a regular column in WoodenBoat magazine. In this past issue, his article was on baseball bats. He makes a point that the switch from ash to maple (apparently Barry Bonds started a trend) has resulted in more broken bats. This is for a couple of reasons: 1. Maple has a very tight diffuse grain so it's much harder to assess and optimise grain orientation, in other words cross grain is harder to avoid, 2. Maple is stiffer and heavier than ash so some players want thinner handles so that they get some flex back or are trying to cut weight

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Has anyone tried willow. Here in the UK cricket bats - a similar use to baseball bats - are almost exclusivey made of this wood. You would need an expert - not me - to tell you why it is considered so good though.
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