"As part of its Opening Day broadcast earlier this week, ESPN presented the attached video, entitled “Reincarnation of a bat”. It is a beautifully shot and highly informative piece showing the entire development of a baseball bat from the harvest of a tree in a Pennsylvania to delivery into the hands of Major Leaguer.
It includes scenes from the selected harvest in a PA forest, to a trip to a sawmill in Warren County, PA for initial processing and drying, then delivery to Louisville Slugger for the final manufacturing and finishing process.
They say the a picture speaks a thousand words. This video is certainly an example of that truth."
The wood being turned into blanks and then bats in the video is white ash, notable for its current endangerment by the Emerald Ash Borer. Hopefully, Pennsylvania and surrounding states will be able to continue to deliver ash blanks to Louisville Slugger in the future. A growing number of major leaguers are opting for bats made from sugar (or hard) maple, which also are found in abundance in the forests of the Northeast.
Roland Hernandez, formerly of the USDA Forest Products Lab in Madison, WI, and founder of RockBats has an excellent website describing in great detail the difference in bats made from white ash and sugar maple, and what makes them break in use. Great reading for the hard-core baseball fan.
Enjoy the season.