Monday, July 22, 2013

Back to the Wooden Bat Game of Baseball

     There is a distinct crack from a wooden baseball bat when the ball is smacked on the sweet spot. And when you don't make good contact you hear a splat and the ball doesn't travel very far.  When using a metal bat and hit it good you'll hear a ping, and when you don't you still hear a ping.
      Baseball is going back to the days of the wooden bat after years of kids swinging the metal. The metal bats give a routine hit more distance and the possibilities of of a ball rolling to the fence. With wood, outfielders can challenge the hitters by playing in closer to the infield.
     There are arguments for both sides, some say using metal makes for a more offensive and action packed game. Others like the fact that teams can play small ball with wood, bunt and hit and run manufacturing runs instead of just hoping someone will hit a pop that will carry out of the park.
     I'm all for the return to wooden bat game. Kids will get more accustomed to it with time. Instead of one base at a time mentality, coaches take more chances and I feel that the games are just as exciting.
     And what's wrong with leveling the playing field and having a good old fashioned pitchers duel. Bats will splinter and break and that can be a danger but it's also a problem with balls whizzing by the mound clanging off the metal ones.
     I feel Pennsylvania is on the right track and school districts still using metal bats need to get on board. They can argue it's costly to keep replacing broken wooden bats and school budgets are already tight. But, when's the last time a kid arrived at a game without carrying his own bat bag. So that argument is a bit weak.
     Even when I played decades ago, I had my own bat that I used in all of my games. If I broke it, then I'd use one the team supplied until I got back to Bechtel's Sports for new one.
     There was a couple things a baby boomer kid had on a bike when he pedaled off for the day's adventures. One was a baseball glove looped over the handlebars, also a baseball jammed into the bike frame. If you had a pickup game planned with the many other kids running around the neighborhood you brought
your wooden bat and held it across the bars as you steered.
     I'm still waiting to see a homer off of a wooden bat this summer and with several state tournaments coming up I'm sure someone will hit one out of the park. Abner would be happy to see the game returning to it's roots.

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