Wooden baseball bats have been around since the game was invented. Like baseball is pure art, so too are wooden bats! Wooden baseball bats are a refined piece of beauty and power, whether on the pitch or on a fan’s wall.
Wooden bats symbolize legendary stories of famous hitters, some who bagged the tournament for their team with that bat, and some who set world records for longest home runs with theirs. Anyone more than just an ordinary baseball fan – someone who is a true enthusiast truly appreciates the beauty of wooden baseball bats.
These superfans know that a wooden baseball bat is not just a part of the equipment; it’s the center of the whole stadium’s attention. In that millisecond, just before the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand, the crowd stops breathing in anticipation and awaits that beautiful sound of a knock. And no other material delivers it better than wood! So, let’s find out together what kind of wood these magnificent bats are made of!
Types Of Wood Used for Baseball Bats
Before the mid-1880s, players used to make their own baseball bats. Many of these were made from humble wagon tongues with the design of the player’s preference. The first professional mass production of wooden bats started in 1884, after which MLB bats started being made from specific types of wood. Among these, the most used wood types are as follows:
Ashwood bats were the most common among the first wooden bats mass-produced for MLB. The use of Ashwood is still widespread across the globe in most baseball leagues. Flexibility and stronger hit force are the main advantages of ash in a bat; however, this type of wood tends to dry out over time, which can lead to fragility and breaking in half mid-game.
Yes, maple trees have yet another use; fittingly, it’s baseball bats! Maple wood is stiffer than ash, which decreases the trampoline effect significantly but offers extra strength and resilience to the bat. “Sluggers” or batsmen who hit hard usually prefer maple wood for this feature, as speed or flexibility isn’t what they are looking for in bats. However, maple does tend to absorb moisture and gets even heavier, decreasing the speed of swing considerably.
Birch is a softer type of wood that offers a middle ground between ash and maple, with flexibility and durability both maintained. Birch wood is often used by players who are more focused on precision than the force of hitting. A downside of the softness is that dents are common, and while this may not break the bat, it certainly can interfere with the hit-ball trajectory.
Why Are Wooden Bats Used In MLB?
There are several reasons why MLB only allows wooden baseball bats in the big games. Here are a few reasons why no material other than wood is allowed in MLB bats:
Aluminum or other metal bats have been known to have an insane hit speed, which can be dangerous for players, especially fielders and pitchers standing near the batter. Moreover, the audience’s safety is also at risk with hit-ball speeds of that level, impact from which can lead to serious injuries.
Legendary players who have set records in old-school baseball would have their records smashed if metal bats got introduced now, as the comparison would just not be equal anymore. Wooden bats are heavier, slower, and require much more strength to score home runs compared to what the legends used. So, it’s only fair that players today should play in similar circumstances if they aim to have their names written next to the heroes of baseball.
Pro Players Are Too Strong
When you’ve played with wooden bats your whole life, your muscle strength is unimaginable. Using a lightweight metal bat would be like returning to trainers on your bicycle after completing a cross-country ride. This may not be the case for most if not all, amateur league players as they haven’t had as much experience hitting with wooden bats in high school baseball for it to be a significant change in college baseball.
Conclusion for What Wood is Used in a Baseball Bat? A Comprehensive Guide
In this article, we discussed the types of wood used in wooden bats, the advantages of specific wood types, and why major leagues still use them in the 21st century. If you are a parent looking to buy your kid a new baseball bat, hopefully, this review of the options helps you decide what suits your young athlete more.
Wooden bats are heavier and slower but can shape a champion out of an aspiring beginner. Training like the pros is bound to increase brute strength, precision, and agility without assists like the lightweight or trampoline effect that metal bats give.
Always give the bat a few practice shots before purchasing to make sure the piece you picked out isn’t defective and will go along for a long time. Lastly, have fun being among the crème de la crème of baseball batsmen.
FAQs for What Wood is Used in a Baseball Bat? A Comprehensive Guide
Which wood varieties are typically used to make baseball bats?
Baseball bats are made from a variety of wood types, with the most common choices being maple, ash, and birch. Each wood variety possesses unique attributes and advantages.
Why professional baseball players prefer maple over ash?
Maple bats are famous for being sturdy and hard, reducing the likelihood of fracturing upon contact with the baseball. Many players lean toward maple bats for this reason, despite the fact that they are heavier than ash bats.
Does MLB require players to use a certain type of wooden bat?
Yes, professional baseball leagues such as MLB impose strict regulations concerning the wood employed in bats. These regulations encompass specific criteria for bat length, diameter, and weight, regardless of the chosen wood.
What are the advantages of birch wood baseball bats?
Birchwood baseball bats are popular because they have the best features of maple and ash. They provide durability and flexibility, resulting in a favorable fusion of power and precision for hitters.