In accordance with Major League Baseball, 2,232 baseball bats were broken by batters from July to the end of the regular season. 756 of those bats broke into multiple pieces. An MLB research team was brought in after several high profile accidents seriously injured spectators, a base coach, and, finally, a plate umpire. Additionally, numerous close calls were reported including one having a team president and one with Bobby Cox, manager with the Atlanta Braves. The researchers discovered that maple bats were 3 x as likely to shatter into multiple pieces than more traditional ash bats.
The researchers’ recommendations were given to MLB in December. While you will find very likely numerous reasons behind the dramatic ruptures fans witness with maple, researchers are focusing on the structure of wood grain for maple bats. Most notably, maple grains have to be as straight as you can. Unlike ash, straight grains for maple are not as easy to locate. Regardless of the form of wood, researchers feel bats are much more likely to fail once the so-called “slope of grain” is greater than one inch over a 20-inch length of the bat (just below 3-degrees). Furthermore, the face of the bat that strikes the ball must be reconfigured by moving the trademark a quarter of the turn for maple.
It’s been about nearly 9 years since Barry Bonds broke the only season home run record when using a Maple Baseball Bat through the entire season. That magical season in baseball was the showcase year for Maple Bats. Although players like Joe Carter used Maple even as far back as within the late 1980’s, maple never really took off until the 2001 season when Bonds crushed 73 home runs to interrupt the one season homerun record in baseball. From that point on, maple surged into increasingly more hands in baseball…and maple hasn’t looked back ever since.
Several things in our society turn out to be fads, and do not survive the trying times. Maple baseball bats are starting to silence the critics who may have been loud advocates against maple. There has been multiple instances where maple has become to blame of major injuries in baseball. A leading example was during the 2008 season when Pittsburgh Pirates hitting coach Don Long was hit inside the face just below the eyes by a huge slice of Nate McLouth’s maple bat throughout the eighth inning of a game at Dodgers Stadium. Witnesses say that chunk seemed to be about 50 % from the bat. Just 10 days later, another maple bat chunk flew out from the hands of the Colorado Rockies Todd Helton and flew to the stands and broke the jaw of any Dodgers fan.
Plenty of players worried about the safety of their teammates, coaches and fans have even switched from Maple to Ash or Birch. Such as a few seasons back, when Frank Thomas and Eric Chavez switched from Maple to Birch, and Jason Bay switched back to Ash from Birch.
A 2005 study commissioned by the MLB discovered that there was no difference in how quickly the ball comes off a maple or ash bat. But still maple generally seems to give hitters a confidence that ash will not. Even though exact number of players who swing maple in the MLB is unknown, it is certain that it is a majority; with some reports estimating the quantity at 60 to 70 %.
There is also undoubtedly a longer life-span with Maple. Various studies have learned that the typical life span of any Maple Bat within the MLB is approximately per month, versus in regards to a week long life span for Ash. So while you will find concerns among MLB officials about the safety risks associated with best maple wood baseball bat, Bat Manufactures work hard alongside MLB officials to make a solution to the security risks; aside from prohibiting maple bats from baseball.
Throughout all of the issues and controversy and worries surrounding Maple Baseball Bats, the demand is still there, and the popularity is still growing. Maple bats may see some troubling times, but it seems like the new bptdbt bat king is here now to remain.
In addition, Major League Baseball has doubled its bat certification fee from $5,000 per company to $10,000. They’ve also doubled the liability insurance requirement from $5 million to $10 million.
In the end, it really is hoped that these measures will reduce the quantity of dangerous broken bat episodes for everybody enjoying America’s pastime. However, these could be only the first steps that will be taken. Only time will inform.