Here is an observation from this year’s World Series. It is a little late for this season, but for next year may I have a word with you professional baseball players out there?
Why do you keep breaking your bats?
Please, look at the bat. See the grain. See how the grain of the wood runs in little parallel patterns along the bat. Look at where those patterns come to the end…see it? They come to the end on the side of the bat where the label is printed. When a wooden bat is made the label is placed in a precise spot so that if you hit a ball with the label facing straight up or straight down the ball will hit the hardest part of the bat. You want the ball to hit where the grains are closest together, so if you look at your bat and put the label straight up or down then you will see to the sides the grains are closest together.
If you hit a ball on wrong side of the bat, the wood grain is weak. The bat will break. I cannot believe that professional ballplayers do not know this. I realize that the first time any of them ever used a wooden bat is when they reach the pros, but can’t they figure it out?
Back in the day, baseball players seldom broke their bats. They might get a small crack, especially if they hit a pitch off the extreme end of the bat or off the handle, but I do not recall ever seeing a bat break in half with one end flying into the field and almost skewering a fielder. It happens all the time now. Someday someone is going to get killed because it happens so much.
Baseball people will tell you it is because today’s bats are so light and made out of weaker wood. Bull shit! Watch the slow motion of one of these broken bat swings…the batter hits the ball right on the label. He hits it where the grain of the wood is the weakest.
As kids we never hit the ball on the label. Hell, those bats cost five bucks and we treated them like gold. Every time someone stepped in the batter’s box the owner of the bat would yell, “LABEL UP!”
At ten years old we all knew to hit the ball with the label up!
Players today all grew up with metal bats, but damn…figure it out. Look at the grain. Check your swing and make sure your bat goes through the zone with the label up.
Please…before someone is killed, swing the bat: LABEL UP!!