Zanesville Sluggers by Adam Kuperstein

POSTED BY: News Department
Thursday, July 11, 2002 - 08:07 PM
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The Old Timers Association wanted to see baseball the way they played in the old days...wooden bats for all levels. The Old Timers bought the Junior Pioneers some lumber sticks for the upcoming AAABA Tournament. They purchased the bats for the seniors too, for a Fourth of July tournament. So, everyone decided to use the wood to build some memories that won't soon grow old.

It's the crack of the bat that baseball fans have associated with America's game ever since it was played with a hickory stick in the late 1800's. It's NOT the ping--the sound of a ball bouncing off an aluminum bat. So, it's only fitting, that wooden bats be used in a rivalry dating back almost 20 years before aluminum bats were even invented.
Junior's Manager Doug Pollock said, "Both teams are kind of fundamentalists. We like the wood bats and a lot of Central Ohio League teams like the wood bats."
Other than the way they look, the biggest difference between the aluminum bat and the wooden bat is what players and coaches call pop. Basically, the ball comes off a little harder and faster off the aluminum. As for the wood, you better hit it with the sweet spot, or else it isn't going anywhere.
Junior's Second Baseman Shaun Spencer said, "A lot of times, with aluminum, you won't get a good hit on it, but it still drops in. With wood, you get a lot of ground balls if you don't hit it with the sweet spot.
Seniors Manager Scott Anders said, "You better hit the ball with the head of the barrell of the wood bat or you're going to break it."
The wooden bats themselves led to a major difference--the Juniors chopped down the tall and mighty Seniors for the first time in years, using their brand-new lumber. But, don't give the tools too much credit.
Pollock says, "A good hitter will hit well with either aluminum or wood."
When it comes to hitting, it's still the batter and not the bat.

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