Bat Factory Tour!

Those that know me know I have 3 loves-- drumming, woodworking, and baseballing. I've played baseball for as long as I can remember and have umpired for almost as long. I recently got into an old guy, wood bat, baseball league named after legendary fictional character, Roy Hobbs.
Last summer, my buddy bought me a Louisville Slugger bat when he was at a tour of the factory in KY and he brought it down to me to use. It was responsible for many hits last season, but alas, it suffered an agonizing death in batting practice a couple weeks ago.
Little did I know that there's a bat company only an hour away from me, here in TN. The owner just started making bats, years back, and they've because all the rage in professional baseball, including MLB. Guys like Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig are making this company a household name in baseball circuits.
The "factory" is literally out in the middle of nowhere and you'd miss it if you blinked. Seriously, Google it and check out the google map street view. It's in a wooded lot, in a couple of large metal sheds. Awesome story and great people working there, just churning out bats for future hall-of-famers..... and me. :-)
So my teammate and I went there, today, to tour the factory and pick through the bins of "rejects" that have printing/paint flaws or came in a tiny bit over/under weight. They sell them for about 60-70% off, but they are identical in specs/performance.
The woodworker in me was ecstatic about touring the "factory" so he took us on a guided tour. *I put factory in quotes because the whole place seriously fits in a couple metal buildings not much bigger than double-wide trailers. :-)
I was very jealous of their dust collection and spray booth! I was also very impressed by the guy who started the company in his garage with a lathe and some hand split pieces of maple. And now his bats are partly responsible for sending guys to the baseball hall of fame.
Here's some pictures I took. I should've taken more.
<https://photos.app.goo.gl/ep9LdBqsVquIoVYM2
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On Friday, April 20, 2018 at 12:55:27 AM UTC-4, -MIKE- wrote:

.
That sounds like a great experience. Pretty to cool to hear that a "little guy" is making a name for himself.
Your comment about your bat's untimely death, especially at this time of ye ar, reminds me of when my daughter played, and I coached, high school softball. Early s pring in Western NY can still be pretty chilly (It's 35° right now) It's common for practices and games to be held in mid-50's (or less) weather. It's also not uncommon for a fastball to shatter the composite bats that the girls use these days. Anything below 60 ° and the girls leave their good bats in their lockers. A shattered composite bat is a dangerous instrument. Multiple sharp jagged points of carbon fiber.
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On 4/20/2018 7:00 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Bats are supposed to be wood!
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On 4/20/18 7:42 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

My old guy league is wood bat, mostly for tradition and player protection. I would like to use one of those composite bats in BP sometime just to send some over the fence.
They now make wood bats with composite handles, so you get the best of both worlds. The tradition, true performance, sound and feel of wood, with the longevity of composite since most bats break in the handles.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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wrote:

Maple has shown a tendency to splinter into sharp pieces. I have a lot of bats from 16" softball (no gloves, but broken fingers) aluminum and ash. Do not play any more as my body minds.
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On 4/20/18 1:40 PM, Markem wrote:

Yes, and that's why I don't use maple drumsticks, anymore. They just snap and they're gone, with no warning. Hickory and Oak, on the other hand, will splinter and start to flex a bit which gives you enough warning to switch sticks between songs.
MLB knew the horses were out of the barn with the danger of Maple bats flying into the stands and knew the Players Association would never, ever, consider a ban.
So, the compromise is two-fold. 1. The bats have an ink test on the handle. The ink shows the direction of the grain. The grain has to be perfectly straight with no deviation beyond 3 degrees. You will see the ink stain in a clear diamond on the handle that is forbidden to be painted over. An umpire can disqualify a bat that has any substance covering that diamond.
2. The started putting the labels at a 45 degree angle to the grain, instead of 90 degrees. Tests showed that a Maple bats was more likely to break in two with the barrel flying into the stands when swung at 90 degrees. Same tests showed when the bat was held at 45 degrees the bat was more likely to split and stay together and/or go forward.
The players are *supposed to* hold the bats with the labels up, as usual. But look closely. Many guys using Maple bats will hold the label at 45, which put the grain at 90, like they're used to. :-)
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On Friday, April 20, 2018 at 11:30:17 AM UTC-4, -MIKE- wrote:

.
Full composite bats break at the handles too, but in a different manner.
Common shape of break in a wooden bat. Note the single point.
https://sheepy712.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/brokenbat2_485.jpg
Common shape of a break in a composite bat. Note the multiple points. CSI might have trouble identifying the murder weapon if you stabbed someone wit h this. ;-)
http://sportsgazelle.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/broken-bat.jp g
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On 4/20/2018 9:29 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Looking at the photo, I'm surprised some nanny group has not tried to ban baseball. Too dangerous for children.
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On Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 3:09:00 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

When I was a kid the pro teams used to give the cracked bats to young fans in the stands. They'd take them home, tape them up and use them in their sand lot games.
The Mets (and probably other teams) use to have Bat Days. They give hundreds of fans a miniature (18"?) bat with the team logo on it. Hundreds of NYC fans, many of them drunk and rowdy.
What could possibly go wrong? ;-)
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On 4/21/18 10:18 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

When you go to a game, now, all you see is people with their heads buried in their phones. It's no wonder people are getting injured from foul balls and broken bats. Put your fu@%!ng phone down and watch the game! Experience real life, not simulated on a screen!
Notice the phone in the kid's hands. https://photos.app.goo.gl/ixM64cfEecgmQNfj2
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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On 4/21/2018 10:36 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

+1 I am proud to say that my wife and I forced a cell phone on our 20 year old son 10 years ago. He still does not use it much, he does not always answer my texts! ;~(

Now you see that right there? That is a lost teaching moment. Had dad let the bat pop the kid, an excerpt from the book on School of hard Knocks states, the kid would never use his phone at a base ball game again.
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I don't know about that... There's still plenty of education that can go on with a close call and some excited talking to.
Puckdropper
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On Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 11:36:14 PM UTC-4, -MIKE- wrote:

I agree. Leave the phones at home. Attend games at stadiums like this:
http://www.newlaunches.com/entry_images/0708/18/touchscreen-seat.jpg
or maybe like this:
http://www.mirarena.com.tr/files/.thumbs/projeler/vodafone_arena/900/stadium_seats.jpg
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And the surprised look on his face.

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On 4/21/2018 10:18 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Back when kids/drunk adults were taught to use their heads, little happened. Now days all bets are off because, one out of a zillion, will obtain an attorney and we end up where we are today.
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wrote:

But then again there was Disco Demolition at Comiskey Park may years ago, A Bill Veck promo gone awry.
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On 4/22/18 3:08 PM, Markem wrote:

Looking at the photo, I'm surprised some nanny group has not tried to

Another Bill Veck promo debacle was Dime Beer Night at Cleveland's old municipal stadium, which remains the only game in MLB history to be forfeited because of unruly fans storming the field.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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wrote:

White Sox forfeited the second game, the "fans" okay "Insane Cohos" who stormed and tore up the field after the blowing up of Disco albums in center field. Yes alcohol was involved.
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On 4/22/2018 3:30 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

LOL... Now that there is funny!
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On 4/21/2018 11:18 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

When I was a kid my best friends uncle was Stan "The Man" Musial. He gave me one of his broken bats, which we taped up and tried to use. The bat was WAY to big for 10 year olds, and the tape didn't hold up anyway. The bat was in my Mom's house for at least 30-40 years and then disappeared. Probably could have sold it to Rick Harrison on the Pawn Stars show for some cash.
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