June 17, 2010

Wood vs Metal

As anyone who reads this blog knows I coach high school and summer ball. There's been a debate on whether or not to switch to wood for a while now. Recently I saw a OTL clip on ESPN about Gunnar Sandberg a high school pitcher in California who was recently hit in the head with a line-drive. His brain swelled up so much that they actually to remove a piece of his skull. With that clip came the obvious debate of wood vs. aluminum. I've always been in favor off wood and probably will never be swayed.

My first year coaching legion I was an assistant coach. One of our pitchers was also hit in the head by a line drive and he had absolutely zero chance to get out of the way. In addition the kid that hit it wasn't even a very big kid. Since then I've always been in favor of wood. Two years ago in legion we have switched to wood and any study that you see that says the 2 are equal, forget about it. Maybe off the barrel absolutely squared up both are the same but it's so much harder to square up a ball with wood. With a metal bat the sweet spot is so much bigger.

In addition, power numbers are way down in legion. For example this year 3 players from my team hit 9, 5, and 3 homers respectively. In legion since we switched to wood we haven't had one home run hit for our team. The only time we've been close is the first round draft pick I recently blogged about hit 2 off the top of the wall. Also, our opponents had only hit one homerun. Furthermore, to be honest it gets tiring seeing kids get jammed or a ball off the end of the bat in high school and still plugging gaps or flying out at the warning track. I just saw a game in the super regionals where the kid got jammed a bit and hit a homer to the opposite field, that's ridiculous.

Obviously wood would be more expensive and it's the main reason for not switching to it however as sad as it is there's going to be more people like Gunnar Sandberg as long as aluminum sticks around. Unfortunately I don't think anything will change until a pitcher dies from a line-drive off the head, it doesn't seem right but I think that's the reality of the situation.

“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction” - Winston Churchill

Posted By bosoxx34 at 06:46 PM



Bonito posted on June 17, 2010 at 19:56 PM


I completly agree.

I think all forms of ball.

Slow pitch softball its even bad. There are way too many people rolling and shaving bats its a joke. I mean I was at a tourny and a guy just came up and asked "hey $50 and i'll roll your bat." I responded "dude its moving 6mph and thrown underhand if I cant hit it Ill quit."

Ive seen pitchers get knocked out cold and heard of one that got hit in the chest. Well he got his glove up even and the ball was hit so hard it hit him in his chest and stopped his heart with his glove in the way.

I think wood should be used for anyone over the age of 13.

The sweet spot on metal bats is just way too big and the ball comes off so much harder. Not to mention its easier to tamper with them and get away with it.

Bonito posted on June 17, 2010 at 19:59 PM


Did you see the FSU Vandy game 3 where the Vandy player had a check swing that landed a couple paces into right field in the 8th inning? What a joke that ball doesnt get out of the infield if its a wood bat.

bosoxx34 posted on June 17, 2010 at 21:10 PM


Yeah I saw that game, it's so much worse in the college game since players are so much stronger.

I've actually read a lot about rolled bats, when that happens the thing becomes a weapon, I wouldn't even want to play infield against those things.

Entity posted on June 17, 2010 at 21:13 PM


Just read up a bit on rolled bats -- that's absolutely insane that it's allowed anywhere. Seems incredibly dangerous and takes a lot away from the game, IMHO.

Bonito posted on June 18, 2010 at 12:20 PM


Rolling and shaving bats aren't allowed anywhere that I know of.

At least in slow pitch softball if you hit the pitcher the team on the field can ask to have your bat examined. So they take the bat that was used to hit the pitcher and if it is rolled or shaved the player who owns it is punished. Punishments range from banishment from league/fields to being charged w/ assult.

The problem is you have to hit the pitcher before the bat gets inspected.

We play in a co-ed league on friday and its pretty obrvious that bats are tampered with when a 105lb girl launches a 295' shot to the warning track. Its out of hand.

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