From Wiki: Hillerich & Bradsby Company is a company located in Louisville, Kentucky that produces the famous Louisville Slugger baseball bat. The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in downtown Louisville features a retrospective of the product and its use throughout baseball history. Can you see me leaning on the giant bat above?
Unfortunately, you will see more pics of me in this blog, thanks to Nancy, and my high interest in this tour. I used the model 125 Louisville Slugger for years from Little league all the way to my first two years playing college ball at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. My last two years there found us transitioning to the current day use of the metal bats. H&B also make gloves, golf clubs and a few other sports items under the trade name of Powerbilt.
Every bat made for the professionals are specified according to their desires, down to a sixteenth of an ounce. (Ted Williams could tell the difference.)
Above, a pic of a display, that shows an inspector grading and measuring the White Ash as it is being readied for the craftsman's tools. Below, a display that shows how the log is bored with a special machine that pulls out the rough blanks.
From Wiki: Most of Hillerich and Bradsby's wood bats are made from Northern White Ash grown in proprietary forests on the New York/ Pennsylvania border. Ash trees in the United States are now under attack from the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect species native to Asia and first detected in Michigan in 2002. While H&B's forests are not yet infested by the beetle, the area being destroyed is growing and moving closer to them. The company is making plans to utilize other woods in the event North America's ash forests are totally destroyed.
We were not permitted to take any photos inside the factory, however I did take a couple through the viewing window outside the factory floors.
Wow! Who knew? Up to 120 bats! Below is the bat vault that stores the thousands of specifications for all the players that ever played under contract with H&B.
Baseball was my game. My dream (as it was for millions of us kid dreamers) was to play in the majors, in front of large crowds cheering & jeering, hitting, running and fielding to one's heart's desire. Oh well, maybe in my next go-round! :-)
Here are a few of the major leaguers who used the Louisville Slugger.
OK, these two pics were not a major leaguer; only in his dreams...:-(
Above, arguably the greatest hitter of all time, Ted Williams, and below, two Babes, Nancy & Babe Ruth. LOL Note the size of the "Babes' bats"...
Below, "The Captain", Derek Jeter, who is retiring this year from the Yankees. Above, a dreamer...
Well, that about wraps up this blog on the Louisville Slugger Tour from downtown Louisville. Till the next blog (Churchill Downs), RVing Beach Bums signing off from Hibbing, MN, Sept 10. (Tomorrow we will visit the International Wolf Center in Ely, MN.)