Marv Bittinger, one of the co-authors of Dusty Baker’s Hitting Handbook visited the Louisville Slugger bat museum and factory in Louisville, KY last Wednesday. It was a most interesting and informative tour. You watch the procedures they use to produce today’s bat. You also see bats once used by Babe Ruth and other Hall-of-Fame players, as well as present day players such as Joey Votto. You can even program purchase your own autographed, personalized bat.
I highly recommend you visit the Louisville Slugger Museum and there you will see several Louisville essay writing Slugger bats on display. See if you can track down a size similar to Dusty Baker’s bat. It is model number S318, 35 inches and 33 ounces. Below is a couple of pictures of Dusty’s Bat.
Bat selection can be more complex with some of the new regulations related to bat specifications. This is about helping players find a bat that they can effectively handle. In order to maximize batcvelocity a hitter needs to choose a bat length that allows the hitter to efficiently start and stop the swing.
We suggest for hitters younger than 12, choose a length that allows for a quick, smooth and effortless swing. Much will depend on your size and strength, but err on the side of the shorter at length. For hitters 13 to 15, bat length will generally be 30″ to 31″ range. Hitters 16 – 18 normally use 32″
or 33″ bats with a few players capable of handling a 34″ bat. More than ever before, the high school hitter must select a bat that allows consistent contact with the “sweet spot”.
The change in bat material specifications has reduced the sweet spot / prime hitting area dramatically, so battling the size of the bat in addition would be counterproductive.
Jeff Mercer co-author and blog contributor
A systematic approach to hitting is helpful for both the player and the coach. A system allows the player to associate words, physical exercises and practice to develop skill. Actually, the systematic approach to training has been around since WWII, when it was necessary to teach workers a trade quickly and efficiently. Coaches want to provide exceptional hitting instruction to their players in an efficient manner and players want to be able to remember the system easily so they can apply it when they are at bat.
For example: The systematic approach starts with the player. There is a process or exercise coaches and players should use when selecting the proper bat.
The player is able to learn skill effectively by repetition and reinforcement. We use words like “Ike To Mike” and “Squish The Bug” to help players and coaches understand the technique behind the approach. The player thinks these words are fun! The more fun and relaxed the player is the better their performance.
The next time you watch a major league baseball game, observe how the players hold the bat. How the hitter holds the bat greatly impacts bat velocity, trajectory and impact point. As an example, pounding in a nail with a hammer most effectively requires the carpenter to hold the hammer out in his / her knuckles vs. gripping with the palm of the hand. It is no different when holding a baseball bat. Dusty like thinking of this as “Holding the bat in the fingers.”
As you observed the Major League Baseball players, did you notice how many sort of “wag” the bat around loosely in their knuckles vs. the ones that grip the bat tightly with the palm of their hands?
In our systematic approach to hitting, we recommend that you hold the bat out with your fingers in your knuckles to ensure exceptional impact. For more on this, check out Step 4 in the Systematic Approach to Hitting in Dusty Baker’s Hitting Handbook, p.31..
Welcome to hittinghandbook.com! We thank you for visiting our website. As a player, parent or coach we hope that you experience this site as a place to help you become an improved coach or player. The best part of the systematic approach to hitting is that it is easy to teach. Any parent, any coach and any player can apply the principles found in the book.
Good luck at the plate!