Friday, October 11, 2013



800 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
(877) 775-8443

I can remove another dream from my baseball bucket list. We toured the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory the number one bat for Major League Baseball players. Admission to the theater, museum and factory is $11, but we got in for $9 with military discount. There is a 20 minute video "The Heart of the Game" in the theater superstar like Tony Gwynn, Jim Thome, Derek Jeter and other talk about their use of a Louisville Slugger bat during their career. After the video you exit into the museum. It looks and feels like you are leaving the club house and enter from a dugout.

As you walk into the museum you can enter a gated area where a staff member allows you to hold an actual game-used bat swung by some of baseball's all time greats. I chose to hold the Mickey Mantle bat. I had to wear batting gloves and then posed with the bat in my hands. There was six bat to choice from, but with a line of people waiting for their turn I held only one.

There was wax modules of Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Derek Jeter and Ken Griffey Jr smack dab in the middle of the museum surround by bats in glass cover draws and history information exhibits on the walls.

Our number and time was called and we made our way to the factory tour. There was no photo or video use allowed on the factory floor,so sorry there is no pictures, but I can highlight how they make their bats. Louisville family owned (fifth or sixth generations) and have been making bat for 129 years. The white ash or maple wood to make a Louisville Slugger bat comes from Pennsylvanian and New York forest. Tubs are cut out into 37 inch x 3 inch, dried and shipped to Louisville Factory.

The original way to make a bat was by hand. This process was time consuming and could take up to 20 minutes to make one bat. Now, the process in completed by machine with computer setting of a bat module. The wood spins at about 1,500 times and in 30 seconds a bat is formed. These bat are mostly for minor league players, mini and souvenir bat with less quality wood. The highest quality wood is saved and used to make Major League Baseball bats. This process is about the same but a little finer detail and completed in about 40 seconds. As we toured the factory floor we saw the burning of the company trademark in the bats and final sets of burning or painting the bat to the players liking. This is were they handed out the knobs at the end of the bat that was placed on the spinning wheels.  When the tour was finished mini Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory bat was handed out.

A little fact about players who used these bat, if their name in signed on the bat, they have a contract with Louisville Slugger. If their name is in all capital letters, they do not have a contract with Louisville Slugger. In front of the building is the famous 120 foot tall Slugger bat leaning along side the building as you walk into the main entrance doors. Along the front wall of the building and on the street at least four blocks away are bronze bat and home plate highlight the career of baseball all time greats.

As you enter the building, there is a autograph name plate of every player who has or had a contract with Louisville Slugger including international player mostly from Japan. There is also a section on the wall dedicated to the player who have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame who used Louisville Slugger bat during the career.

If you are just an average fan or love baseball as much as I do, you MUST go to Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory at least once in your life time. There is so much to learn behind the scenes of "American past-time" that makes baseball the greatest game on earth.

No comments:

Post a Comment