The Bats ... They Keep Changing!

By Steven Bratkovich

This article was published in the Fall 2018 Baseball Research Journal.

Over the centuries, baseball bat shapes have undergone all kinds of contortions: Bat diameters have expanded and contracted and lengths have varied. Even bat wood species have transitioned from hickory and the traditional ash to maple, which dominates today in Major League Baseball. Heinie Groh of the Cincinnati Reds had one of the most distinctive bats in baseball history, a "bottle bat" which had about a 17-inch barrel that tapered sharply to a thin handle. (NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF . . .

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