Sunday, March 20, 2011

Birth of a bat

"I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights" - Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood.

For 127 years, major league baseball players (mostly) have had their bats made by the Louisville Slugger Company. If you're a baseball nut like me fan, it's worth going to their museum and touring the factory, something I did today.

The bats are made of ash or maple - hard wood. They were made by hand until 1980 and it took a craftsman about 20 to 30 minutes to make one bat. Now it's computerized and takes about 30 seconds. After the bat is created, it has to be inspected, sanded and painted with regular paint or a varnish, depending on the ballplayer's preference.

There was a museum, a 15-minute film and a tour of the factory. The tour cast $10 (only $9 for seniors 60 and older - yes!) and the other stuff was freee. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed in the factory.

Above: A model shows how bats used to be hand-lathed.

Above: There was a model of Ken Griffey, Jr., using a Louisville Slugger bat. A wanna-be jumped into the photo.

Above: Outside, a young boy looks at a bat that is as big as his dreams.

Photos by MOJO and one passer-by, taken with my point-and-shoot.


  1. Good stuff, MOJO. I notice your ground ball and Griffies home run.

  2. @TM: yep, but at least I didn't whiff.

  3. I toured a packing house once. They didn't charge anything. I also got a free tour of the Seagram's distillery and got free drinks at the end.

    You baseball guys are easy.

    P.S. Looks like you are getting around. Enjoy that retirement!!!

  4. Great pics. You have a nice swing.

  5. Great pics. You have a nice swing.

  6. I went there once before. What a great place for any fan of baseball. And great smells ... ahhhh ....

  7. It looks like one fan went a little batty!

    When I as a kid, all my bats were Louisville Sluggers!

    Interesting post. 30 seconds? Sheesh!

  8. @KenP: actually at the end they gave us a small bat you can see in one of the photos.

    @Josie: Thanks

    @Lightning: yes, the smell of wood was wonderful

  9. Baseball will always have a special place in my life. thanks for the pics.

  10. Thanks for your nice comment today, MOJO!

    That really is one heck of a bat! I remember we had lots of bats in Texas. They only came out to play at night, though!

  11. Thanks MOJO! Hope you're weekend is a home run!

  12. Thanks again, MOJO, for stopping by Ocala DP and for your kind words. What else have you being doing in your retirement besides going batty? ;-)