There are so many queries about baseball bat that why wooden baseball bats break easily, why not aluminum bats, what MLB do with this game used bats after it’s been broken, or why baseball bats are breaking? If you are a searcher of this kind of topic, this article is for you.
Wooden baseball bats are often last for less time than an aluminum bat. Still, MLB chooses wooden bats over metal bats due to some reason.
You will get to know about the factors about why baseball bats are breaking, the science behind it, how long it takes to manufacture a baseball bat, and so many interesting things about baseball bat that will amaze you.
What happens to the cracking baseball bats in MLB?
MLB gives baseball bats in a certain amount to the player. So, it becomes the property of the player. They can do whatever they want.
After breaking the bats, MLB sells those game used baseball bats on the internet or in the ballpark, and they provide this money to the charity associate with baseball since those bats are selling by the player or the teams.
Sometimes bat manufacturing companies buy those cracking bats, repair those bats, and manufacture them into their product. Sometimes players give those breaking bat to the fan with their autograph.
Since these bats are not usable, so they give this to the fan or sell this. But most of the time, these bats use in batting practice. Breaking bats are not used on main game day.
Why does a wooden baseball bat break easily than aluminum bats?
There is a reason behind breaking a wooden bat easily more than aluminum bats. Wooden bats are breaking due to wood grain.
When the ball hits the bat continuously on the same spot, it makes a tiny crack. This wooden bat can withstand almost a thousand hits before breaking. So, breaking a wooden bat is not an accident. Rather, the ball’s continuous hitting with huge force to the bat’s same spot.
Each hit makes a crack, and it explodes into a big crack. When every tiny crack reaches each other, it spreads a huge crack throughout the bat and disconnects one side from another.
But why wooden bats break easily? Why not aluminum? It’s because of the internal structure of wooden grain.
If you look closer to the bat, the manufacturer’s name is burnt upward to the handle, where the grain edges toward the pitcher. So, the grain orientation of wood makes it stronger concerning the direction of the pitcher. Moreover, wood is made up of cellular components.
On the other hand, aluminum is more flexible than wood, lighter, and easy to use. However, aluminum has the same strength as wood according to the orientation. But aluminum bat can withstand more force than wooden bats. That’s why wooden bats break more easily than an aluminum bat.
But if you want to know more about of using wooden bats over aluminum bats, you can go through reason behind using wooden bats in MLB, which give you complete information about it.
Why are baseball bats broken while swinging?
There is plenty of reason behind breaking a bat while swinging. One of these reasons is using the big and heavy bat. If you use a heavy bat, it may give comfort while gripping. But a fastball that comes with 90mph can generate so much stress that the handle breaks immediately.
However, there is so much reason behind breaking a bat while swinging.
- You have to know your pitcher since a pitcher can change the game with their pitching skill. Mariano, known as breaking bats, can pitch at 100mph that can break the bat instantly.
- What types of pitches are thrown is another important factor in breaking a bat. Verlander can break bats in no time at all with excessive speed and changing the pitch. What types of pitch are coming is also an important factor.
It can be a fastball, a change-up, a curveball, or a 4-seamer that can top almost 100mph. So, it depends on the pitch also.
- What kind of wood material bat you are using is also a breaking factor. Is it Maple wood, Ash, or Composite materials? Maple wood has more brittleness than ash wood and barrel flying off. So, if a higher velocity ball hits the handle, it will break immediately. On the other hand, ash wood will splinter.
- What the major factors behind breaking a bat are the location of impact and speed of the ball. Since professional league allows wooden bats, it has fabricating with a large spot called sweet spot or barrel, and the handles are thin compare to the sweet spot and weak spot.
So, when a high-speed fastball comes to the handle and the batter swing with full force to the ball, the bat will break easily. Because the weak spot if the bat cannot absorb this kind of energy by the ball and disconnects eventually. So, this is the reason why the baseball bat is breaking while swinging hard. Its technical issues as well as the structure of the bat.
Wooden baseball bats have a lower breakage rate than fungo bats. Check out this article about fungo bats.
What is the science behind breaking a bat? How to reduce it?
In 2008, almost two thousand bats were broken in MLB. That means each bat per game. A 95mph pitch impacting on the bat swinging in 75mph can exert the force of 8000 pounds when it contacts the ball.
The thinner part (handle of the bat) can shatter immediately, and it can cause injuries to the fan or player. So, MLB has decide to look for a solution to reduce or break the bat.
Before the 1990's, ash woods is use as baseball bats. But Barry Bonds make record home runs in the 2000's with a maple wood bat, and MLB following that tradition, which is the main reason for the breaking bat. But why?
It’s because wood is an anisotropic material. The strength and toughness of wood are not the same on every axis since the wood cells are grown vertically and elongating. It has ring-porous that is decorating vertically, which creates natural planes of weakness.
So, baseball bat manufacturer’s logos are placed on the face grain, and they instruct the batter to swing with this place. That ensures that the ball is in contact with the bat of edge grain, and stress won’t bend too much.
But maple wood has different annual growth rings. Maple wood bats were broken due to characteristics of a slope of grain failure.
See this video to understand the concept more clearly. It will take a few moments,
So, MLB made two key changes to reduce the number of breaking a bat. They are,
- Bat manufacturers have to rotate the logo at 90 degrees to place it on maple woods. It’s because the weakest planes of the maple are radial. So, it would be better if the face grain is use as hitting the bat's surface. Maple wood will become stronger.
- Secondly, bat manufacturers must put a dot of ink on the bat's face grain that indicates the grain's direction. You can see these dots on the handle of the MLB bats if you look closer.
Well, can this change make any difference after all? Yes, it does. Still, some accidents are happening. But now bats are not breaking rapidly. That’sThat’s an improvement.Enter your text here...
How much time does it take to make a baseball bat?
If you skip all the process of harvesting a tree, cutting, shaping, and other processes, it will then be a matter of minutes to make a professional baseball bat. But pro players have their requirements to make a bat. So, bat manufacturers take it as a program and put the wood into the CNC lathe.
However, proper dimensions and weight have to set into the automated lathe machine. Nowadays, an automated lathe machine produces such a bat that can fulfill the whole season's needs. So, it's just a matter of time if you put the wood into the machine.
With automated lathe machine, it can fulfill the demand of bat of a whole season. Because it won't take too much time after putting the log into the machine.
Breaking bats in baseball concerns things in MLB. But MLB now takes proper steps to reduce this problem by changing the manufacturing styles. However, this article is about what they do with used baseball bats. But we cover every single detail about broken baseball bats. I hope, this will helps you a lot.