SI Vault
 
GOING BATTY
Kostya Kennedy
February 03, 1997
The NCAA baseball bat controversy (left) is the most recent twist in the storied history of bats. The first Louisville Slugger was made for Pete Browning of the Louisville Eclipse in 1884, and 107 years later the Louisville Slugger logo adorned a cruise missile fired by the USS Louisville in the gulf war. Babe Ruth swung a mammoth 42-ounce, 36-inch stick in the 1920s, and 43-inch Eddie Gaedel stepped to the plate in '51 with a 17-inch toy bat. Indian and Yankee Joe Sewell used the same piece of lumber from '20 to '33; today's major leaguer uses 100 bats a season. And in 1965 the Giants'Juan Marichal, angry that a throw back to the pitcher almost hit him, clubbed Dodgers catcher John Roseboro on the head with a bat, drawing blood that might have excited vampire bats, which survive on two sanguinary tablespoons a day.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
February 03, 1997

Going Batty

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

The NCAA baseball bat controversy (left) is the most recent twist in the storied history of bats. The first Louisville Slugger was made for Pete Browning of the Louisville Eclipse in 1884, and 107 years later the Louisville Slugger logo adorned a cruise missile fired by the USS Louisville in the gulf war. Babe Ruth swung a mammoth 42-ounce, 36-inch stick in the 1920s, and 43-inch Eddie Gaedel stepped to the plate in '51 with a 17-inch toy bat. Indian and Yankee Joe Sewell used the same piece of lumber from '20 to '33; today's major leaguer uses 100 bats a season. And in 1965 the Giants'Juan Marichal, angry that a throw back to the pitcher almost hit him, clubbed Dodgers catcher John Roseboro on the head with a bat, drawing blood that might have excited vampire bats, which survive on two sanguinary tablespoons a day.

1