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Wood bats - on which "side" should the ball's impact be?

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  • Wood bats - on which "side" should the ball's impact be?

    Hello everyone!

    I play baseball in Sweden and during this years dull indoor preseason my team has opted that we use wood bats to improve hitting. I´ve used them anyway for several years, but now a controversy has arised. No one seems to know for sure how to use the bat properly. The big question is where the ball should impact on the bat for it not to break easily? (grain going down to up) I think it is on the "label" side, so that the ball hits the grain from the side. Some say its the other way around - that the grain lines should be lined up to the impact .. (grains going left to right)

    I realize this is difficult for me to explain with my limited english knowledge, but i hope you guys get the general idea of this question!

    Thanks,
    Daniel

    PS. I hope i´m right. DS.

  • #2
    Originally posted by danielfromsweden
    Hello everyone!

    I play baseball in Sweden and during this years dull indoor preseason my team has opted that we use wood bats to improve hitting. I´ve used them anyway for several years, but now a controversy has arised. No one seems to know for sure how to use the bat properly. The big question is where the ball should impact on the bat for it not to break easily? (grain going down to up) I think it is on the "label" side, so that the ball hits the grain from the side. Some say its the other way around - that the grain lines should be lined up to the impact .. (grains going left to right)

    I realize this is difficult for me to explain with my limited english knowledge, but i hope you guys get the general idea of this question!

    Thanks,
    Daniel

    PS. I hope i´m right. DS.
    Hold the bat out in front of you with both hands. The label should be facing you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Good Answer

      Hey guys
      Yep, thatis perfect. What BB said was right, have the label facing you...but do to your lack of english knowledge, or so you said, haha, have the label up!
      thats all, its the same as what he said although just in different terms i guess, and I just wanted to say good answer. Clear and to the point!

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for your answers, however, they do not help very much unless everyones swing is uniform (which they aren't) and i´m still now sure where the ball should impact? Is it on the opposite side of the label ?

        Thanks,
        Daniel

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey

          Ok
          Withthe label being up, just look at the bat. When you're standing, arms out, label up, bring the bat back into your set position at the plate. be sure not to roll the bat in ur hands, if you do, you will switch the position of the bat. With the label being up, you will make contact n the opposite side of the label, being the "sweet spot". That part of the bat is stronger. If you hit the ball on the label, it has a greater chance of breaking because when the label is pressed onto the bat, that area of the bat becomes weak...therefore breaking easly. Be sure to hit on the oppostie side of the label!
          Hope that helps more

          Comment


          • #6
            Thx!

            Thanks alot! That sorted it out!

            Sorry if i sounded irritated in my previous post. It's just that this is a looong standing cause for discussion that i would like to lay to rest.. I hope someone will believe me (or you actually).. Is there any source online or in a book you could quote? Or this actually childishly easy and not written down anyware?

            Thanks again,
            Daniel

            Comment


            • #7
              hey, danny-boy. you ask something that most just take for granted. excellant!
              but it is not childishly easy: we all had to learn it. however, this lesson is so elementary that i can not locate a site to link for you. anyone?
              ...........................
              that said:
              what has been explained to you about bat labels is true... because the bat manufacturers want to identify for the batters which side has the tightest/strongest grain.

              but should ever find youself holding a bat that has not been branded, or a much-used bat and the label has been erased, no ned to panic... because now you know the "hit the ball with the tight grain" principle. have fun!
              Last edited by west coast orange and black; 02-17-2005, 12:09 PM.
              "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

              Comment


              • #8
                I belive it's hit with the lines, not with the flats.
                Will

                Jimmy Dugan: ... But sneaking out like this, quitting, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. Baseball is what gets inside you. It's what lights you up, you can't deny that.
                Dottie Hinson: It just got too hard.
                Jimmy Dugan: It's supposed to be hard! If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the good advice! However some don't seem to agree as this last post shows. Do I understand correct that by "flat" you mean the label side?

                  ..That's why i feel the need for some "authority" on this, even though I myself see the logic in hitting the label side (or the opposite of it that is)..

                  /Daniel

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, the oval wood sections. I might be wrong.


                    Originally posted by danielfromsweden
                    Thanks for the good advice! However some don't seem to agree as this last post shows. Do I understand correct that by "flat" you mean the label side?

                    ..That's why i feel the need for some "authority" on this, even though I myself see the logic in hitting the label side (or the opposite of it that is)..

                    /Daniel
                    Will

                    Jimmy Dugan: ... But sneaking out like this, quitting, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. Baseball is what gets inside you. It's what lights you up, you can't deny that.
                    Dottie Hinson: It just got too hard.
                    Jimmy Dugan: It's supposed to be hard! If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The way I was taught was that at the moment of impact the ball should strike the bat on a spot perpendicular (90 degrees) from the label, with the label on top so that you know for sure where it is in relation to the incoming ball. I had never realized that the label was intentionally pressed so that the ball wouldn't hit the grain dead on. It makes sense though. A ball coming at 80+ mph would certainly be like a very blunt wedge, and when chopping wood one always lines the wedge up with the grain to split it apart.

                      On a personal note, I had a wooden Louisville Slugger with Hal McRae's name burned into it. It split when I didn't remember to turn the label toward my ear in the set position, hitting it dead on.

                      2007 World Series Champions
                      The Boston Red Sox

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That's the way I understand it. You want to hit the ball with the wood like:

                        _________
                        _________
                        _________ <----------(ball)
                        _________
                        _________


                        Rather than:


                        |||||||||||
                        |||||||||||
                        ||||||||||| <-------- (Ball)
                        |||||||||||
                        |||||||||||



                        With the top one, when the bat bends it bends together. The bottom way, the layers could shear apart as it bends with the impact.

                        Originally posted by FlashGordon
                        The way I was taught was that at the moment of impact the ball should strike the bat on a spot perpendicular (90 degrees) from the label, with the label on top so that you know for sure where it is in relation to the incoming ball. I had never realized that the label was intentionally pressed so that the ball wouldn't hit the grain dead on.
                        Will

                        Jimmy Dugan: ... But sneaking out like this, quitting, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. Baseball is what gets inside you. It's what lights you up, you can't deny that.
                        Dottie Hinson: It just got too hard.
                        Jimmy Dugan: It's supposed to be hard! If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I believe it is the other way around. Just look at the bottom "picture" there are much more wood "behind" the impact. On the top picture there is nothing to support the impact. Think of it like you were to line up 10 people, like they where standing in line. All you had to do is make one fall to break the line up. Where would you push - on the front (or back of the line) or from the side?

                          The answer is: from the side. If you push the first guy in line the people behind will hold him up, much like the wood does in a bat if you hit it like this:

                          |||||||||||
                          |||||||||||
                          ||||||||||| <-------- (Ball)
                          |||||||||||
                          |||||||||||

                          It´s just plain 'ol physics, right?

                          /Daniel

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I might have been wrong in my assumption (I haven't swung a wooden bat in a long time). Here's an image from DicksSportingGoods.com. You'll see that the label is emblazoned parallel to the grain, like this:

                            label
                            ------
                            ----------
                            ------------- <----BALL
                            -------------
                            ----------
                            ------


                            PLATE


                            For orientation, imagine you are looking at the batter from the opposite batter's box as he swings the bat (note the roundness of the barrell). I'm guessing that there is less flex in the bat this way vs. this:



                            | |
                            | | | |
                            | | | | | | LABEL <---BALL
                            | | | | | |
                            | | | |
                            | |


                            I'm guessing that the flex of the bat would absorb more of the impact of the ball hitting the label as the layers flex.

                            2007 World Series Champions
                            The Boston Red Sox

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thats the way I hit. Like I said, I think if you hit it the bottom way, the layers could shear apart with the flex of the bat.

                              As an aside, I *think* it was Yogi Berra who kept hitting on the wrong side of the bat, so H & B made his bats with the label on the wrong side. Can't remember where I saw the story. I'll have to keep looking.
                              Will

                              Jimmy Dugan: ... But sneaking out like this, quitting, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. Baseball is what gets inside you. It's what lights you up, you can't deny that.
                              Dottie Hinson: It just got too hard.
                              Jimmy Dugan: It's supposed to be hard! If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.

                              Comment

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