Recent incidents have re-sparked the debate over how to control a dangerous problem. Which wood makes for the most durable bat?
By Brett Zarda
Posted 05.19.2008 at 1:19 pm 5 Comments
Broken Bat:Then San Diego Padres third baseman Russel Branyan breaks a bat during the 2007 season.ISU_79 (CC Licensed)
Pop quiz: What kind of wood are baseball bats made of? Until about 1999 the correct answer would’ve been ash. But long before pundits noticed Barry Bonds’ head inflating from steroids, players spotted his maple bat. In a sport where adults inject their own buttocks for a chance at glory, switching to a different bat caught on quick.
"Remember, a wooden bat is a 100 percent natural product," says Bill Williams of Hillerich & Bradsby, makers of the Louisville Slugger bats used by Major League Baseball. The bat makers evaluate the wood from the exterior, but they cannot look inside the bat for minute structural flaws.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.