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So what's with those bats?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
OK you baseball followers, watching a game tonight I noticed something again that's had me wondering: bats that are ground hollow the last couple inches of the business end. What's that about?

Doesn't make sence to me. Why not just use a shorter bat? What good does that little 2 inch cylinder of thin wood on the end of the bat do? Add swing weight? So use a solid bat the same weight as the ground bat. A solid bat the same weight would add usable length. Seems like all the 2 inch ground section does is add wind resistence to the swing.

post #2 of 5
It's about reducing swing weight while maintaining the natural length of the bat. Lighter swing weight = greater bat speed, it's as simple as that.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Coach, do you believe in the validity of the concept? I'm still confused.

Isn't a 36 inch bat with a 2 inch grind essentially a 34 inch bat, as the last 2 inches are unusable (you can't hit a ball with it, I would think it would shatter)?

Why not just use a solid 34 inch bat, that would reduce the swing weight even more by getting rid of that unusable 2 inch hollow cylinder at the end. What benefit is there in having it?

Doesn't added length slow bat speed? Why have extra length if not usable length?

post #4 of 5
That's interesting.
In cricket, (a bat and ball game played outside the US) some of the big hitters go for lighter bats, but many go for the heaviest they can comfortably play with. When the ball is travelling towards you at 90mph, you want something meaty to hit it with, not a stick, and for the slower deliveries, the momentum of the bat allows for more powerful shots.
The big drawback is in test matches, which can last up to 5 days. A good batsman could spend perhaps a day and a half batting in each of the two innings, and that's a long time to be holding & swinging a heavy bat.
post #5 of 5

I do believe in the concept. I see your confusion, however, so I'll try to better explain. First of all, all bats, solid or hollow ended, are dead at the end for about the last 1.5 inches or so. That is, either style will provide poor results if the ball is hit with this area of the bat. As a result it was an easy solution to hollow the end of the bats, reducing swing weight, and not lose any hitable length. So in your example of a 36 inch hollowed bat vs a 34 inch non hollowed bats, what you really have is 34-35" of hitable length vs 32-33" of hitable length.

You're right that length affects swing weight as well, but it's a balancing act to find the right swing weight for a batter and still provide plenty of plate coverage. Fox is correct in that in baseball, as in cricket, bats come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are thick in the handle and some are thin. Some have a longer barrel and some a shorter barrel with weight differencial resulting from these differences. Much of this comes down to personal preference.
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