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Role Of Technology In The Life Of The Baseball Bat: A Hand To Hand Journey

1292 words - 5 pages

It’s often said ‘the guy with the bigger stick always wins’, and it is safe to assume so in baseball ,seeing as the bat is the most vital aspect of the game since it embeds its sole purpose, to hit the ball. The excitement of baseball and what attracts fans the most is the ball- bat action. This relationship is established by the batter and the pitcher; their constant rivalry makes the game interesting as one tries to hit the ball, and the other tries to make him miss. The history of baseball is much like that of other sports; it originated from a group of people, soon it became popular and with time became a multi-million industry. As baseball became more popular and more people became interested in the game, competition drove investors to seek ways to gain certain advantage over their opponents and, so the need for better equipment arose. With the evolution of technology came development of materials which brought hand in hand the development of more efficient and effective bats. Wood was the starting material for bats, but then came the development of aluminum, and in the later years composite bats came into the field.

Though the sport is based mostly in talent, or how the athlete utilizes these tools, equipment is critical for the performance of the athlete. Athletes seek bats that will increase their probability for a home run, maximize their hitting power, decrease the amount of energy loss in the collision for a greater ball velocity, and allow for a quicker swing, seeing as these factors are crucial to the success of their careers. Decades and decades of testing and experimentation have gotten the baseball bat to where it is. It first started as a simple plank, but with the growing popularity of the sport along with the constant rivalry, the development of other materials came to be incorporated in an attempt to make the equipment more efficient.

Wood has been used as a material for bats since the first day of the game; when it first started big square pieces of wood were used to hit the ball. During the 1850’s, when the game first began and before any set regulations, hitters provided their own bat, which in turn led to a wide range of lengths and diameters, along with many different types of wood. At this point players got the opportunity to investigate and experiment with different weights, woods, and length to discover the best combination for better results. They soon discovered that a round bat would provide a more solid hit. As restrictions came in an attempt to make the game fair, the need for more efficient bats, under the specified regulations, took hitters and woodworkers a step further. For control and grip the idea of wrapping tape around the handle became popular, as well as making the taper of the handle larger for bigger impact surface. The increase of knowledge on the behavior of materials increased during the late 1800s and the early 1900s, and this along with the increasing demand for better bats lead to...

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