According to Major League Baseball, 2,232 baseball bats were shattered by batters from July to the end of the regular season. 756 of those bats broke into multiple pieces. An MLB research team was brought in after several high profile accidents seriously injured spectators, a base coach, and, finally, a plate umpire. Additionally, numerous close calls were reported including one with a team president and one with Bobby Cox, manager with the Atlanta Braves. They found that maple bats were 3 x as prone to shatter into multiple pieces than more conventional ash bats.
The researchers’ recommendations were given to MLB in December. While you can find very likely numerous reasons for the dramatic ruptures fans witness with maple, researchers are presently focusing on the structure of wood grain for maple bats. Most notably, maple grains must be as straight as is possible. Unlike ash, straight grains for maple are harder to discover. Regardless of the type of wood, researchers feel bats are more inclined to fail if the so-called “slope of grain” is more than one inch spanning a 20-inch entire bat (just below 3-degrees). Furthermore, the face area from the bat that strikes the ball has to be reconfigured by moving the trademark a quarter of the turn for maple.
It’s been about nearly 9 years since Barry Bonds broke the single season home run record while using a Maple Baseball Bat through the entire season. That magical season in baseball was the showcase year for Maple Bats. Although players like Joe Carter used Maple even as far back as in the late 1980’s, maple never really took off till the 2001 season when Bonds crushed 73 home runs to break the one season homerun record in baseball. From that point on, maple surged into increasingly more hands in baseball…and maple hasn’t looked back from the time.
A lot of things within our society turn out to be fads, and do not survive the trying times. Maple baseball bats are starting to silence the critics who have been loud advocates against maple. There has been multiple instances where maple has become to blame of major injuries in baseball. A prime example was through the 2008 season when Pittsburgh Pirates hitting coach Don Long was hit inside the face just beneath your eye area by way of a huge chunk of Nate McLouth’s maple bat through the eighth inning of a game at Dodgers Stadium. Witnesses say that chunk seemed to be about half from the bat. Just 10 days later, another maple bat chunk flew from the hands from the Colorado Rockies Todd Helton and flew in to the stands and broke the jaw of the Dodgers fan.
Lots of players concerned with the safety of their teammates, coaches and fans have even switched from Maple to Ash or Birch. Such as a few seasons back, when Frank Thomas and Eric Chavez switched from Maple to Birch, and Jason Bay switched returning to Ash from Birch.
A 2005 study commissioned from the MLB learned that there was clearly no difference in how quickly the ball comes off a maple or ash bat. But still maple appears to give hitters a confidence that ash fails to. Although the exact number of players who swing maple inside the MLB is unknown, it is actually certain that it is a majority; with many reports estimating the number at 60 to 70 %.
There is also undoubtedly an extended life span with Maple. Various studies have learned that the normal life-span of the Maple Bat within the MLB is all about monthly, versus about a week longevity span for Ash. So while you can find concerns among MLB officials about the safety risks associated with maple wood baseball bat, Bat Manufactures are working hard alongside MLB officials to make a means to fix the protection risks; besides prohibiting maple bats from baseball.
Throughout all of the issues and controversy and worries surrounding Maple Baseball Bats, the demand remains there, and the popularity continues to be growing. Maple bats may see some troubling times, but it appears as if the newest bptdbt bat king is here now to remain.
In addition, Major League Baseball has doubled its bat certification fee from $5,000 per company to $10,000. They’ve also doubled the insurance requirement from $5 million to $10 million.
Ultimately, it is actually hoped that these measures will reduce the amount of dangerous broken bat episodes for anyone enjoying America’s pastime. However, these might be just the first steps that will be taken. Only time will tell.