Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Trees and America's Pastime

From the National Association of State Foresters

With summer in full gear, many of us head to the ball field to watch our favorite baseball teams bat away. There is nothing better than hearing the crack of the bat and watching your favorite player hit a home run. So what is the history of the bat? Has ash always been the most popular wood? Have bats always been the same size and shape? The answers may surprise you, and make you itch to head out on the field yourself.
Early batters (mid-1800s) were known to sometimes whittle bats to suit their own hitting style. As you might imagine, the results were quite diverse—there were flat bats, round bats, short bats and fat bats. While bats made of ash have always been a popular choice, maple, willow and pine were also commonly used, and it wasn’t unheard of to see spruce, cherry, chestnut and sycamore.

Check out this great article from the Smithsonian for more bat history.


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