Mechanical Behaviour of Baseball and Softball Bats

Authored by: Lloyd Smith

Routledge Handbook of Sports Technology and Engineering

Print publication date:  November  2013
Online publication date:  November  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415580458
eBook ISBN: 9780203851036
Adobe ISBN: 9781136966606


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Baseball became a popular and recognised game in the middle of the 19th century. During this time, bats were made of hickory (from wagon tongues), oak or ash (Mussill 2000). In these early years of the game (circa 1850) few restrictions existed on bat design. Bats tended to be much larger and longer than are commonly used today. Elements of that era exist today, however. Major League Baseball (MLB), for instance, has a 42-inch (1.1 metres) bat length limit, even though the longest bat produced today is only 35 inches (0.89 metres) long (MLB 2010).

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