Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
I recently found a pretty neat article in the Denver Post that provided details on bats used by a few of the Colorado Rockies. Hey, it’s a long season and even professional writers can lament only so much.
Bats are the crux of our national past time. It is a fact — there would literally not be baseball without them. They are the main tools of the trade, treated as well as some players treat their own children. But for being such an integral part of the game they are often overlooked by fans. The only time bats get extra attention is when they are shattering and impaling players (with what appears to be a Rawlings bat) or corked (the now infamous Sammy Sosa used a X-bat Model XX, by the way). That is just not fair. Bats have feelings too!
There are over 40 companies that build wooden bats, ranging from the old reliable Lousiville Slugger to the up-and-coming (and my personal favorite) Marucci Bats. Of those 40+, there are 32 that have approval and are licensed to be used in MLB games. Many of these 32 companies are small shops like Brett Bros or SamBat, not comparable to the massive manufactures like Louisville Slugger or Rawlings. The most surprising omit from the approved list in my opinion has to be Nike, who apparently doesn’t even build wooden bats. I guess they are just too busy ruling the world of collegiate apparel.
Let’s break down some quick facts on these Rockies’ bats:
- Of the Rockies listed in the article noted above, only Troy Tulowitzki and Tyler Chatwood use the same brand of bat — Tucci. They both hail from Southern California. Tucci bats are manufactured in Connecticut. Just thought you should know
- Everyone uses maple bats (the most controversial bats) except for Michael Cuddyer (ash) and Wilin Rosario (yellow birch). Cuddyer is a man of the people and I would imagine (aka “speculate”) that he uses ash for fan safety. Rosario uses Birch because he is a man-child — and birch wood is one of the strongest woods available to hit laced leather with.
- The heaviest bat of the bunch is swung by Cuddyer, at 32.5 ounces. That is roughly the same weight as 8 McDonalds Quarter Pounders… again, just thought you should know.
- The longest bat in the group belongs Carlos Gonzalez, 35 inches.
It is also interesting to hear about Cuddy being giddy with excitement over a bat shipment, or Tulo carefully wrapping his bats in a sock before placing them in his bat bag. These bats obviously receive the utmost attention from their players, varying from a custom handle tape job to a smothering of pine tar for extra grip — just don’t get too carried away with it like George Brett did in 1983…
I’ll leave you with some other bat facts for your weekly water cooler discussions:
- Babe Ruth was rumored to have swung a 54-ounce hickory bat once in a game. He more routinely used a 42-ounce bat, while Hank Aaron used a 33-ounce bat.
- Bryce Harper often uses a 47-ounce dinger in the batting cages before games.
- Honus Wagner was the first player to have his signature burned into the barrel of his bat — in the year 1900.
- It takes 40,000 trees to make a season’s worth of baseball bats. (However, no trees were harmed while writing this article. You’re welcome environmentalists, you’re welcome.)