An American tradition since the early 1800s, baseball is a pastoral game with an ebb and flow until a battle of wills take place between the pitcher and the batter. Pete Browning (aka “The Gladiator” and “The Louisville Slugger”) was a professional baseball player with the Eclipse of Louisville. Browning was quite a slugger, and in the year 1884 his favorite bat was broken at the plate. Bud Hillerich, a 17-year-old amateur baseball player whose family was in the furniture business, saw what happened and offered to make Browning a new bat. When Browning used the white ash bat in his next game he got three hits. Browning was hooked! Bud’s family was not into making bats – they made bed posts, stair railings, porch columns and butter churns – but, excited about their son’s enthusiasm, they let him start making his bats. At first he named the bat the Falls City Slugger (Louisville is near the falls of the Ohio River), but in 1894 the bat was trademarked, registered and officially named after the first major leaguer that used it – the Louisville Slugger. Over the next few decades, the popularity of the Louisville Slugger soared. Today, it has over 8,500 endorsements by popular baseball players in the major and minor leagues, as well as college leagues. Sixty percent of the modern-day major leaguers still use the Louisville Slugger. Today’s bat is made of northern white ash or maple, has a thinner handle, and is a lighter weight than the original bat. They make the bat lighter by removing 3/4 of an ounce of wood out of the end of the barrel. The major league hitters proclaim it allows them to swing faster and hit further. These days, if something is a few years old we tend to throw it away because it is outdated, but here is an example of an item that has stood the test of time – and is still on top! And, after all these years, the company is still based right there in the heart of downtown Louisville, KY.
SharLeigh has an inquisitive nature – she is interested in current events, history, science and many more subjects, including things that go bump in the night! Since 1997, SharLeigh has scoured the internet, looking for interesting, fun and timely topics covering all sorts of human-interest subjects for her articles from her home in Fontana, CA.