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    Author(s): Patrick Drane; James Sherwood; Renzo Colosimo; David Kretschmann
    Date: 2012
    Source: Procedia engineering 34 (2012) 616-621; 2012.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (3.74 MB)


    Over the span of three months in 2008, 2232 baseball bats broke while being used during Major League Baseball (MLB) games; of which 756 were classified as Multi Piece Failures (MPFs). This rate of failure motivated Major League Baseball to explore options for potential changes in the bat regulations to reduce the rate. After a study of the information that could be extracted from the 756 MPF bats, MLB implemented new bat regulations and inspection processes for both the wood billets and the final bats. Part of the study concluded that the maple bats used in 2008 were three times more likely than ash to exhibit an MPF failure phenomenon, and that high slopes of grain (SOG) of the wood were a major conhibuting factor to MPFs. One of the new regulations was to add a SOG indicator on the handle of each bat so that inspection would be able to easily identifu the SOG of the bat both at the factory and on field. This paper will describe the test methods used, along with some results collected, in an effort to provide potential solutions to the bat breaking problem. Dynamic durability tests were performed on white ash and maple bats. Additionally, this paper presents results of a finite element model used to correlate the analyical and experimental results.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Drane, Patrick; Sherwood, James; Colosimo, Renzo; Kretschmann, David. 2012. A study of wood baseball bat breakage. Procedia engineering 34 (2012) 616-621; 2012.


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    Baseball bats, durability testing, slope of grain, density

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