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Pro Bats

Pro Bats
6 University Park
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-6502

There is a 10 - 12 day production time. Shipping time must then be added to arrive at a delivery time!!

Why Maple

Maple wood bats have traditionally been made from ash for many years. Ash was easy to mass produce and there was plenty of it to go around. If, like me, you grew up playing baseball with a wood bat, you had one choice and one choice only and that was ash. The performance of these bats was good, however the durability left something to be desired. The very nature of the wood itself was the problem.



In this picture you can see that white ash is filled with small air pockets called vessels. This allows for the wood to be lighter, but more susceptible to breakage. Note that the air pockets are concentrated in the early portion of the growth ring.

More and more players today are using bats made from hard maple. The most common hard maple is sugar maple. Sugar maple is heavier and more dense due to an evenly spaced growth pattern. Note that the air pockets are uniformly distributed throughout the growth ring.

Ash has a structure that is open and porous and there are tremendous variations in the quality of the wood. The professional players at the highest levels had access to the best grades, while the lesser grades filtered down to the amateur and recreational players. The rising cost of wood bats and the frequency with which they broke eventually led to the popularity of aluminum bats.

Aluminum drastically changed the nature of the game.  What began as a way to create durability and reduce cost evolved into a bat that drastically changed the game at the amateur level. Just as modern technology moved us away from tradition with the introduction of aluminum bats, it has now given us the opportunity to return to our roots. Computer lathing, advanced drying techniques and modern stains and finishes have allowed bat makers to use hard maple in their manufacturing process.

The result is a bat that has more pop and much greater durability than those made of ash. Made popular by Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa, maple wood bats swept the country by storm. The grain of hard maple wood is much tighter and much denser than ash. It is more consistent in nature thus eliminating the multi grading system that was used with ash. You can now hit with the same bats used by the pros.

I wrote this a few years ago when maple took the game by storm.  Since that time maple has become a staple in the big leagues as well as the amateur level.  A percentage of players in the big leagues still use ash, but keep in mind, they have access to the best ash available.  Very few amateur players continue to use ash.  Another critical factor is the emerald ash borer that has recently swept through the country wiping out huge stands of ash trees.  Very little quality ash is left.  We have figured out what was causing the rash of maple bat early breakage and now maple is the bat of choice.  Other woods have been used to make bats since maple became popular.  Birch, and European beech are now being used in limited quantities.  Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but I still feel maple is king.  Composite bats are made by many types of wood including bamboo.  They do have a durability advantage, but will break eventually and personally lack the feel of solid wood.  Gluing strips of wood together might be ok for the cage, but give me solid wood for my gamer.

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