During my trip to Louisville, Kentucky to cover the NSRA Street Rod Nationals I was able to find some spare time to visit the Louisville Slugger Museum and manufacturing facility in downtown Louisville.
Ever since I was a Little Leaguer, I always wondered where baseball bats were made, later on I found out they were made in Louisville, Kentucky. I did continue to excell in baseball through high school and college, never fullfilling my dream of some day playing in the majors.
It was cool to checkout the Louisville Slugger Museum, the tour answered alot of questions.
John A. "Bud" Hillerich took over his dads wood working business in 1884 and began making baseball bats. In 1894 "Bud" received a patent on his wooden baseball bats named Louisville Slugger. Since their introduction there has been over 1,000,000,000 Louisville Sluggers sold. Louisville Slugger bats are the choice of 60% of the major league players. The college TPX aluminum bats are also made by Louisville Slugger. You will also find Louisville Slugger bat on Little League and soft ball diamonds all over the world.
They only use ash or maple wood, and use the outer perameter under the bark of the trunk is used. The tour exposed us to how the bads were used years ago as they were turned on a leathe taking approx. 30 minutes. Today with the CNC equipment the machine spits them out in 30 seconds! I got to even see major league bats turned, then ingraved with the Louisville Slugger logo and major league players signitures. Very cool.