Rawlings Baseball Equipment
Finding Consistency In College Baseball Bats by William Smith
Aluminum baseball bats are Usually preferred to wooden bats due to their light weight and high power (note: pro players are allowed to use wood bats only). Lighter bats are usually preferable to heavier bats as they allow the hitter to create sufficient speed to put some "oomph" into it (although there are restrictions about bat weights at most levels). Additionally, aluminum bats can supply more "pop" of the baseball off the bat, and are much more stable (therefore cost effective) than wooden bats. Bats today are becoming increasingly high tech and costly
College baseball bats are more high-tech than the bats that the pros use. The pros, you see, are behind the times with their baseball bats. Their wood relics have been out of style for years. Wood makes for baseball bats that are heavier, less long lasting, and less functional than their counterparts made from aluminum.
Today's best baseball bats are to be found in the college ranks. They're made of military grade aluminum provided by corporations like Alcoa and Kaiser. And these companies keep working on this aircraft aluminum to make it stronger, thinner, lighter, and more stable.
These aluminum alloys go by their corporate trade names or numbers, and customarily by brand names too. You can sometimes find that the same trade name is marketed by different bat makers by unlike brand names.
If you want to see if your college baseball bats are made from one of these advanced alloys, simply look at the bat. Customarily, manufacturers are so proud of the fact that they'll advertise it in big bold letters on the bat. Then again, if you're bat is -11 or lighter, it is required by law not to state what kind of alloy is used in its assembly. In any case, these lighter bats probably do not contain the stronger newer alloys. To make weight, the producer possibly used a lighter alloy for the thinner walls of the bat.
If you want to be able to know accurately what is in your college baseball bats, look for the grade number on them. For instance, a grade number of 7046 means that the bat is fabricated with standard aircraft aluminum, a material fit for many budget bats.
The grade 7050 means the aluminum alloy contains an amount of copper, which makes it one-third stronger than 7046. Other numbers and grades, of course, designate other alloy blends and dissimilar strengths.
Baseball bats are measured using their length to weight ratio, a negative number that represents how many ounces a bat weighs compared to it's length in inches. For example, a 32 inch bat that weighs 28 ounces is a - 4. The largest ratio is in the range of -12 (for little league bats), while college and high school bats are restricted to a - 3. These restrictions are for safety reasons - a college or high school player swinging a very light bat (- 4 +) would simply have too much power and could pose a danger to other players on the field. Make sure to check the regulations of your league before buying a baseball bat!
William Smith lives in Florida with his wife and three cats. William writes frequently on many subjects that may be of interest to all. Discover all the joys and secrets of baseball at Baseball's Holy Grail
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