View Full Version : Teams Switch to Wooden Bats to Honor Injured Pitcher

03-24-2010, 01:57 PM

Opposing teams united in a single cause Tuesday night on a Marin County baseball field.
Marin Catholic went up against Drake High School but the two teams agreed to ditch the metal and instead use wooden bats. The change is in support of Marin's pitcher, Gunnar Sandberg, who was hit in the head by a line drive Thursday during a game against another rival team.

The hitter during last week's game was using a metal bat, which likely contributed to the ball's speed. Onlookers at the game that night estimate the ball was going at least 100 mph when it hit Sandberg, leaving a baseball-shaped skull fracture just above his right ear.

Chip R
03-24-2010, 01:58 PM
I saw that last week. Poor kid.

03-24-2010, 02:02 PM
Does anything think that HS and College may start to move back to wood?

I always thought that the change to aluminum bats was motivated by cost. That shouldn't be such an issue anymore.

Am I correct? Any idea what kind of numbers we are talking about?

03-24-2010, 02:09 PM
It might be more expensive to keep replenishing amateur teams wooden bats, but I think the safety advantage far outweighs the expense. Metal bats seem to result in aritificailly high numbers for amateur hitters, so what is the "baseball" point of using them? One of the biggest question marks surrounding collegiate hitters entering the amateur draft is how the transition from metal to wood is going to effect them, so it seems to me that there is very little to be gained by continuing to use them... and at least a few fractured skulls making a great case against them.

I'd even hop on board for the "kazoo" helmets, at least in minor league baseball.

03-24-2010, 02:16 PM
I look forward to the day when college and HS and even Little League make the change to wooden bats.

Aluminum bats cost anywhere from $200.00 to $400.00 while wooden bats cost around $50.00. Aluminum bats will last a full season while wooden bats may break a few times during a season, but they are safer and that's what matters the most. Plus, wooden bats will separate the mens from the boys. Almost anyone can hit with an aluminum bat.

03-24-2010, 02:17 PM
Wow. I missed that story. I'm a Drake alum. Nice touch to go to wood bats. Should be permanent, IMO.

However, when Sports Authority is airing a commercial that shows ex-NFL player Michael Strahan hitting baseballs through walls with an aluminum bat, it really doesn't look like there's any change coming soon.

George Anderson
03-24-2010, 02:18 PM
Does anything think that HS and College may start to move back to wood?

I can only speak for HS, but we are lucky if we get enough baseballs to actually play the game. Athletic programs in Indiana anyway are really running on very tight budgets.

03-24-2010, 03:34 PM
Nowadays, there are companies out there that are making bamboo bats as well as composite wood bats that come w/ guarantees against breakage.

Mizuno makes bamboo bats w/ a 90-day guarantee (I own one and use it in our wood-bat MSBL league) and they cost @ $70. Baumbats is a composite Ash/plastic bat that is just awesome. They're about $200, but again, are guaranteed for 6 mos. or an entire baseball season. The Baumbats (one of my guys has one) hits really well and the ball jumps off of it (like a true Ash bat, not talking like the jump off of an aluminum bat).

So the argument that it's too expensive to switch to wood bats vs aluminum is starting to go the way of the dodo bird.

Mizuno Bamboo: Purdy! (http://www.mizunousa.com/equipment.nsf/1/10dia1-bats-bb/340204?opendocument&div=baseball/softball&cat=10dia1-bats-bb)

Mizuno Composite Maple: Composite (http://www.mizunousa.com/equipment.nsf/1/10dia1-bats-bb/340203?opendocument&div=baseball/softball&cat=10dia1-bats-bb)

Baum Research Co: Baum (http://www.baumbat.com/productInfo.html)

Brett Bros: More purdiness:) (http://shopsite.brettbats.com/shopbats.html)

Demarini: Maple head, composite handle (http://www.demarini.com/demarini/product.jsp?CONTENT%3C%3Ecnt_id=10134198674744923&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302760059)

Caveat Emperor
03-24-2010, 03:51 PM
I sat next to a scout at a Tulane baseball game who told me, with a straight face, that about 1/3 of the teams in college would be forced to stop playing at the D1 level if the NCAA ever switched from metal bats to wood.

Not because the cost would be too great but, rather, that the teams simply wouldn't be competitive with the talent levels they were attracting if the batters couldn't use metal.

03-24-2010, 03:53 PM
There are ~19,000 high schools in the US. Let's say there are baseball teams at every single one. If MLB really wanted to make a difference it could donate 5 bats to every single school. Even at $100 a pop, the price tag comes in at just $9.5M -- less than Gary Matthews Jr. will make this year.

Obviously there are all kinds of other leagues and you'd probably start at the collegiate level and work your way down, but you get the idea. If MLB were so inclined, it could make a huge dent in the problem.

03-27-2010, 11:56 AM
Whether it's wood, composite, or some kind of aluminum, I feel that with the technology out there today, there should be a way to produce bats that are durable, yet reduce the speed at which balls come off the bat. Where's the push back on this? I figure aluminum bat makers lack the financial incentive to deaden their bats, as kids and beer league softball guys like the ability to mash the ball. But it seems to me like amateur leagues, state high school sports associations, and the NCAA could all enact rules concerning the technical specifications of aluminum bats to make them safer and institute penalties for teams or players that use bats that exceed limits.

03-30-2010, 05:47 PM
Another Kid with Head Trauma


04-01-2010, 12:44 PM

The Diamond National Classic will be played exclusively with wood bats.

One of the 16 teams in next week's tournament, Marin Catholic, has a player who has been hospitalized in critical condition since the player, pitcher Gunnar Sandberg, was struck on the head by a line-drive during a scrimmage March 11. The bat used was an aluminum bat.

"We checked with the coaches in the tournament," National Classic tournament director Steve Gullotti said, "and they unanimously were in favor of using wood bats in respect for this kid."