Baseball or some form of a game requiring a bat has been around for over a hundred years. Creating the baseball bat has been an interesting evolution of the game. From wood to aluminum, it’s always been about creating a bat that will increase the batter’s ability to get a good hit.
Early on, baseball bats would be any shape, length or weight the player wanted. Many actually had a flat side. The types of wood varied, too. As players experimented and watched each other’s creations, it was discovered that wagon tongue wood made the best bat material. Woodworkers got in on the craze and started designing bats out of wagon tongue wood. Eventually, it was decided that a round bat worked best. Still, no diameter or length restrictions were applied.
As the game became a professional event and rules began to be established, it was decided that the bat could have no greater diameter than two and a half inches. Length was still up to the player. Again, woods were experimented with. Also, the handle of the bat was often difficult to grip, so players started wrapping them. This ad hoc creation caught on and soon many bats had a wrapped handle. Eventually, a rounded knob was added to the end of the bat to help with grip. Length was also restricted to 42 inches.
By the 1970′s an aluminum bat was introduced. The early ones would sometimes bend upon contact with the ball. Bat makers continued to tweak the creation until that wasn’t a problem. They worked with length and weight ratios to develop a baseball bat that became the choice of amateurs. In fact, it was aluminum bats in play when the U.S. Olympic Baseball team won gold. Some may actually consider the aluminum bat superior, but there’s no doubt that the creation of baseball bats will continue to evolve.