America's Favorite Pastime has come a long way since its inception. Though the exact origins of the game is debatable, baseball has been around for centuries. Some of the biggest names in the sporting world comes from this field such as Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Nolan Ryan, Willie Mays, Derek Jeter and others.
Baseball is an evolution of a British game known as Rounders. Rounders is a team game of striking and fielding. Similar to baseball, it involves hitting a small, hard ball with a metal, wooden or plastic bat. Nine players are allowed to field and the offensive players must run around four bases to score. It's basically a game of strategy as two teams alternate between offense and defense. Whoever scores the most after nine innings is the winner. In 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first professional team. As the game began to grow, the sport was split into two divisions. The (National League) in 1876 and the (American League) in 1903.
The Inception of Wood Baseball Bats
Equipment can make a world of difference in baseball. Wood baseball bats were the first weapon of choice in baseball. Unlike today's game, players of the old era had to make due with whatever equipment they had. The first wood baseball bats were used in the 1840's. Wagon wheel spokes, old ax handles and any other scrap woods were the only options available! In the beginning, most bats were flat and tapered at one end, which provided better grip. These bats were very strong and resilient thanks to being made from hard hickory wood.
Through trial and error, most players began to realize that rounder shaped bats offered a better point of contact. There were no governing rules during this time as wood baseball bats varied in shapes, sizes, widths and lengths.
The Evolution of Baseball Bats
As the game's popularity began to grow, so did the players interests. In the 1970s, Aluminum Bats entered the scene. These bats were lighter and could give the batter just as much striking power. Aluminum bats are hollowed out, but they posses a larger sweet spot than wood baseball bats. This shift in bat preference was a welcomed addition because wood baseball bats were heavier and when the batter strikes the ball incorrectly, he'd be rewarded with a hand full of "bee stingers".
Batted Ball Speed increased with aluminum bats, and they were much easier to swing for youth baseball players. Since the barrels are hollowed out, they tend to offer better distribution of mass, which results in better batting. Although studies like Crisco-Greenwald stated that wood bats averaged 98.6 mph batted ball speed vs. metal bats averaging 100.3 to 106.5 mph batted ball speed, wood bats wold forever remained the bat of choice for professionals and any player with real aspirations to play the game at a higher level.
Different Types of Wood For Bats
Ash Bats are made from actual white ash trees. Ash's light and porous characteristics are perfect for baseball. These bats are flexible, dense and have a straight grain pattern. Its grain-count gives you an indication of how hard the wood actually is. Maple is a tried and true form of wood. Numerous professional players use maple bats, especially after Barry Bonds started setting new records. For instance, Louisville Slugger's (ash wood bats) have a larger sweet spot and are lighter, but Louisville Slugger's (maple bats) are harder and gives you more power.
Bamboo Bats have an Asian influence and are common in youth leagues. These bats are remarkably durable, but aren't approved under MLB rules because they're not made from one piece of wood. Birch Bats have the flexibility of (ash) and hardness of (maple). It is the second most used bat by the pros.
The Best Wood For Baseball Bats
The truth of the matter is that it comes down to personal opinions of players swinging their bats. Many prefer the classic ash bat, a lot love the pop that maple has, bamboo will be used for durability but it is not a single piece wood bat and birch is starting to convince a few players here and there. The new and revolutionary alternative is Guayaibi Wood. We realize it’s a difficult word to pronounce so here is your guide: “GUA-YA-BEE.” Get it now? Regardless if you can pronounce it well or not players are truly falling in love with it. The reason being that Guayaibi wood’s natural characteristics give baseball bats a ton of durability because of it hardness while its above average flexibility provides for amazing pop AND durability. From the very beginnings of baseball the sport continues to grow and change and the evolution of wood bats has been a natural progression to better quality. Don’t just agree listen to us, test it out for yourself and hit with Guayaibi. There is a reason that over 4,000 players in America have already made the switch.