A Simple Fix for Flying Bats: Better Maple

Bats won't shatter if wood is dried correctly, bat-maker says
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2008 9:45 AM CDT
Robert Trudel varnishes baseball bats at Sam Bat in their Gatineau, Canada. shop, Wednesday, August 8, 2007. Their maple bats don't break as frequently as other makers' do, the company says.   (AP Photo/Patrick Doyle, CP)
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(Newser) – After steroids, shattering maple bats may be baseball's top-priority issue right now, one that promises to be a sticky problem, writes the New York Times. But Sam Holman, the founder of the first company to supply maple bats to the majors, thinks the answer may be a simple one: crack down on makers who cut corners.

Some of the 30 companies licensed to make MLB-approved bats may simply be using inferior wood, Holman explains. His company rejects thousands of pieces it deems not dry enough to become a safe bat. “If you leave any moisture content in maple, you leave stress in the maple,” Holman says. “If you have stress in the bat, it will break.”