In the very early days of baseball a baseball bat consisted of a stick that was used to hit the ball. When the game started to become officially organized and recognized as a team sport the player would often purchase a bat from a wood turner or they would whittle their own bat. Originally, the bats were very heavy and had a weight from 48 to 50 ounces. This heavier weight meant that home runs were a rarity.
Hank Aaron was one of the first players who started to use a lighter, shorter bat. His bat weighed approximately 33 ounces and it was one of the main reasons for Hank Aaron’s home-run success. The rules today do not have any weight restrictions but they do have limits for diameters and bat lengths. A wooden bat must be manufactured with no cork, metal, or any other type of reinforcement that is put into the bat’s center.
A Kentucky wood turning shop, named Hillerich and Sons, was the first company that started to manufacture baseball bats in a full-time operation. The company began when a baseball player broke his bat and was invited by John “Bud” Hillerich to try a custom-made bat that he had turned from a piece of white ash. The baseball player had in the next day’s game an incredible 3 hits in 3 at-bats. Other players soon started to request Hillerich to make them bats as well. This began a new product line with a bat called the “Louisville Slugger”.
Baseball bats were traditionally made from ash trees located in upper New York State or Pennsylvania. Ash wood is a preferable wood material for bats because of its flexibility, strength, and lightweight. An ash tree needs to have 40 to 50 years of growth and each tree will provide approximately 60 bats.
The manufacturing process for making a professional baseball bat include turning the splits into billet, seasoning the billets, sanding and shaping the billets, matching a bat to a model, and staining, branding, and varnishing a bat. The structural integrity of a baseball bat requires strict quality control.
Aluminum and composite bats are popular with college and amateur players but a major league player must use only an all wood bat. This is partially due to the long-standing traditions of the sport. If used in the major leagues, a composite or aluminum bat would drastically alter many of the record books.
Looking at all this you might be thinking “well which bat is right for me?” I suggest asking a professional about where to get a good bat. My suggestion is to check out http://thebaseballreviews.com/top-15-bats-you-need-to-see/ to see if any of those suit you.