Wood Baseball Bat Reviews
Wood baseball bats have been used by professional baseball players since the beginning of the sport. In order to become comfortable with professional equipment you must try out the equipment yourself. Wood bats have many positive attributes and will allow you to play like a professional. The following reviews will explore the benefits of a wooden bat and will allow you to choose among the highest quality wooden baseball bats on the market.
Wood Baseball Bat Buying Guide
Back in the 1850’s, the early days of baseball game, baseball players chose their own baseball bat. They even make their own, with no restriction as to the length, width or size of the bat. They experimented from the type of wood, the shape, length and weight until they realized that rounded barrel Wood Baseball Bats can actually hit the ball firmly and steadily thus, rounded shape bats were born.
It was in 1859 that the first size limit of bats was established by the Professional National Association of Baseball Players Governing Committee. The specific diameter of the barrel should be 2.5 inches and still had no restriction to the length until 10 years later. The rule stated that the length of the bat should not exceed 42 inches long, which is still being followed until today.
In the 1884 baseball season, a 17 year old woodworker named Hillerich watched the Louisville star outfielder Pete Browning became upset when his favorite bat broke during the game. He approached him together with his father after the match and offered to make a bat for him. The player agreed and went with the father and son. Browning chose a white ash wood and watched the young John Hillerich made his first bat, a custom-made baseball bat just for him, of course with his own specification. The next day, using the bat made by young Hillerich, Browning hit three for three during the game. The word spread out about the new bat, hence the Hillerich Wood Baseball Bats business was born.
Moving forward, baseball bats had evolved over the years, the barrel size has slightly increased to maximum of 2.75 inches in diameter, some were already made of aluminum alloys and composite materials. Aluminum alloy bats are said to be lightweight and durable among other materials and are widely used in amateur leagues. But when we talk about major leagues, professional baseball players prefer heavier wooden baseball bats compared to aluminum because wooden bats can hit the ball further and does not vibrate in the batter’s hand when the ball is hit compared to others. In fact, for safety reason as well, wooden bats are the official bats used in Major League.
Things to Consider When Buying Wood Baseball Bats
The first thing to consider is the type of wood used. Now a day you can choose bats made from the ash wood, the 1990s produced maple, the birch, the bamboo and the composite wood.
It is the first choice wood species in making a baseball bat, in fact, it is already used for more than 100 years. Ash wood is a light and more flexible kind of wood, thus giving a what we call a “trampoline effect”. When the ball is hit, it doesn’t just jump off, instead it will compress the wood, and leaves with more force, just like what a spring board does. Though the spring effect is considered as one the greatest strength it is also ash’s greatest weakness. Because the flexible trait of an ash bat will cause the wood grains to split over time and after many uses.
This is a tough and dense kind of wood. It has a great surface stiffness of about 20% compared to ash. Because it is a hard wood and has a hard surface, it does not flex, thus, the ball will bounce off faster. This characteristic made maple a choice of some professional baseball players. It has close-fitting grains, making it more durable, and heavier. In 2001, Barry Bond hit 73 home run record in a single season. Learning that he was using maple wood baseball bats, more players had switched to maple instead of the widely used ash bats. Though a little expensive compared to ash, maple is a good choice because of its durability, it does not chip like ash does.
On the other hand is sturdier than ash, yet has more flexibility compared to maple. Basically, it comprises the best characteristics of ash and maple. It is a lighter wood and also does not chip like an ash does.
These bamboo bats came in and joined the wood baseball bats market recently. Bamboo strips are pressed into billets, then glued together and turned them into bats. Bamboo is a very strong wood, it is stronger that ash, birch and maple. Therefore, bats made of bamboo are are known for its flexibility, strength, and performance.
These wood bats are also coming in the baseball bat arena. Some are made of bamboo wrapped with composite casing, or bamboo covered with maple or a composite wood handle with either an ash or maple barrel. This kind of wood baseball bats is known for its great durability.
Aside from the type of wood used, the baseball bat sizes should also be considered. Taking into account the user/player’s hitting style, strength, height, weight and age.
Generally, the length of the bat is dependent on the height of the users, longer baseball bats are for taller players and shorter baseball bats are also for shorter users. Players with height range 3′ to 5′ usually use baseball bat length range from 26″ to 32″ while players from 5’1″ above use 31″ to 34″.
Before deciding the weight of the bat, let us first understand how bat weight is measured. Bat weight is measured by what is called the drop weight or the minus. The difference between the length and the weight of the bat is what we called the drop weight. For example, if the bat length is 30″ and has a drop weight of (-5), the weight of the bat is 25 ounces.
Selecting the baseball bat weight, the players hitting style and strength should also be considered. Usually, heavy baseball bat can produce more power but at slower speed. While lighter bats have greater speed and control, but lesser power. It’s up to the player to choose which one has a better balance and which one he is comfortable with.
Baseball leagues governing bodies, regulate and established rules as to the type of material, size, and design that players should use in the league. Usually they are taking into account the safety of the players and the fairness of the competition. It is important that a player should know the regulation of the league before choosing his own equipment.
In the 150 year existence of baseball, equipment such a baseball bat has greatly changed, from materials to design and is expected to develop more in the future. Therefore, players should always be well informed as to the basic and to the complex details of the equipment such as the wood baseball bats that they are using.