Louisville Slugger Bat Types

J. Frederick Hillerich’s eldest son Bud first created the Louisville Slugger baseball bat in 1884 in the Louisville, Kentucky, family woodworking shop. Pete Browning, a player for Louisville’s American Association league, was nicknamed the “Louisville Slugger” and was the first to receive the bat made of white ash. The company grew by getting professional players to endorse their bats, which amateurs were eager to purchase. There are more than 8,000 variations of Louisville Slugger bats and more than 300 types from which players can choose.

Wood Bats

Wood bats made by Louisville Slugger are made from wood that comes from the company’s 7,500 acres of timberland in Pennsylvania and New York. Major League Baseball players typically prefer bats made from ash or maple. Ash makes for a powerful, resilient bat, while maple is heavier, providing some players with a more substantial bat. Both kinds of wood provide the same performance in hitting. According to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, the most popular model in 2010 is the Model C271, used by Jose Cardenal, the coach of the Cincinnati Reds.

Aluminum

Aluminum bats contain alloys designed for the company by Alcoa. There is a wide range of alloys that vary in cost and performance. Some higher-priced aluminum bats are mixed with scandium, which makes them stronger and more powerful.

Composite

Composite bats are made from a combination of fiberglass, resin and graphite. The barrel and the handle of the composite bats are made separately and bonded together. Many batters prefer composite bats because they have a large sweet spot. Composite bats also have a unique sound when they make contact with the ball.

Hybrid

In 2006, the Louisville Slugger company introduced the Exogrid hybrid baseball bat. The high-tech aluminum and hybrid composite materials used in the manufacturing process give baseball players a stiffer handle and more powerful hitting action. The metal in the head of the bat is trimmed in a grid pattern and replaced with carbon composite fillers. The heart of the bat’s handle is made from tough carbon that is stronger than plain aluminum, providing greater stiffness along the entire shaft of the bat. Heat and pressure are used to fuse the parts together to form a single unit.

About this Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist who’s spent more than 20 years doing in-depth research and reporting on trends in health care and fitness for newspapers and magazines, including the “Greenville News,” “Success,” “Verve,” and “American City Business Journals.” In addition to sports and alternative therapies, Ray has extensive experience covering banking, commercial development and people. Ray has a bachelor’s degree in journalism.