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Aluminum Baseball Bats - Facts/Opinions

Original post made by Reflections, Danville, on Mar 29, 2010

A young baseball pitcher, age 16, from Marin Catholic School remains in a critical life threatening coma two weeks after being hit in the head by a line shot off a high performance aluminum bat on a March 11th scrimmage game against De La Salle.

The Marin County Athletic League has since imposed a moratorium on all metal bats for the remainder of the baseball season.

Renewed debate.

If aluminum/composite bats are no more dangerous than wood bats, then why do youth baseball players through college nearly exclusively utilize the performanced tuned metal baseball bat?

Why are oversized 460cc drivers so popular with the weekend recreational golfer? Simple enough, because the weekend golfer wants to knock the golf ball as far and straight as possible.

It is the enlarged sweet spot of the equipment.

Aluminum bats were first introduced in the early 1970's as a cost saving measure for baseball teams by eliminating the broken wooden bat. Quality aluminum/composite bats now however cost between $250-$350, the manufacturing emphasis is no longer cost saving economics, but on-field performance.

Even if one were to believe that aluminum bats do not out perform wood bats, and are no more dangerous than wood bats, one must concede that the sweet spot on performance tuned aluminum bats are much, much larger than wood bats. A catostrophic event that might only occur 1 in 10 million times with a wood bat, must be much more likely to occur with the greatly enlarged sweet spot of the aluminum bat.

Even if the aluminum bat is engineered to hit similar to that of a wood bat, the aluminum bat is still hollow, and thus much lighter. Reduced weight is the key, that is why you see these ridiculously light weight bats with a minus 14 drop at the youth league, and still see minus 3 drops at high school. The smart ballplayer wants to hit the ball with the lighest bat possible, because he realizes that it is swing speed of the bat and not the mass of the bat that sends the baseball sailing.

Economics, a youth hitter out grows his bat nearly each playing season, at $250, the player could actually purchase four quality wood bats, should he even need them.

For individuals who say aluminum bats are no more dangerous than wood bats, then I would suggest that you switch to a wood bat, and save the money. Oh!, but you do not want to give up the performance of an aluminum bat. Nor does anyone else.

Aluminum baseball bat manufacturers are only producing what we want, high performance bats. It is though time that we all began to understand that we must first begin with safety of the players. We must consider and start with the safety of the pitcher in mind who is afterall closest to batter, and therefore the most likely to become seriously injured.

A youth baseball player needs about 0.4 seconds to deflect a line shot "comebacker". Might it be prudent to design baseball bats with ratings that allow youth pitchers to adequately defend themselves by eliminating the weight drops in baseball bats thus improving APRT (Available Pitcher Response Time).

A world class professional baseball pitcher (remember Joe Martinez from the SF Giants last season) requires more than .33 seconds to defend himself from a line shot from 60.5 feet.

A professionally hit home run ball travels at 110 mph or more. The pitcher begans at 60.5 feet measuring from the tailend of the plate, but after his stride, and the batter hitting the ball out in front of the plate the pitcher has about 54.5 feet of distance to protect himself. In LL baseball, the pitcher begins at 46 feet on the mound, and has about 41 feet after stride, and the batter making contact.

Professional Baseball Pitcher - 60.5 foot mound

Reaction Time (seconds)
MPH Ft/Sec 60.5 ft 54.5 feet

110 161' .375 .338
100 146' .414 .373
90 132' .458 .412
80 117' .517 .465

Little League Pitcher - 46 foot mound

Reaction Time (seconds)
MPH Ft/Sec 46 ft 41 feet

80 117' .392 .349
70 102' .448 .399
60 88' .522 .465

Little League baseball players can be as old as 12/13 years old. Have you ever seen a young LL ballplayer hit at 250 plus homerun? If you have that baseball was travelling 80 mph off the bat or 117 feet per second.

If your son was the pitcher that just gave up that homerun, realizing that a world class professional athlete requires at least .33 seconds to defend himself on the mound at 60.5 feet, do you believe .349 seconds of reaction time is sufficient enough for the him to defend himself, before he was hit unconscious.

I am not trying to scare anyone, but we are dealing with fractions of seconds in the hundredths place. Hundredths of seconds which could translate to the pitcher catching the comebacker or becoming seriously injured.

Did a high performance tuned aluminum/composite bat indeed provide that miniscule benefit of a hundredth second that made the difference in the young Marin Catholic boy's life?

Comments (27)

Posted by GoodNews
a resident of Danville
on Mar 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm

For those interested in Gunnar Sandberg's recuperating progress, he has been breathing without the aid of a respirator for over 24 hours.

Web Link

Posted by Useourheads
a resident of Danville
on Mar 29, 2010 at 9:52 pm

This shouldn't even be a debate! We need to protect our youth pitchers! Having boys in Little League and speaking with many parents it's a no brainer these leagues need to make head protection mandatory! Isn't that our job to keep our children safe? Shame on those who say, "I've never seen a pitcher go down" or "the odds are that would never happen." Isn't that why we all have insurance? We hope that tragedy never strikes, but in the event it does we're prepared. Shouldn't we insure our boys?

More boys will be hit while pitching, that is a fact, hopefully it won't be yours~hopefully he will be able to stand up and say "sure glad I had my head protection on and that was a wood bat."

Posted by Doug Newman
a resident of another community
on Mar 30, 2010 at 4:24 am

Well done.

Accidents will happen with wood bats too but wood provides pitchers with more reaction time (scientifically proven), enough to make the difference between a deflection and a square hit.

The physical properties of wood also make it impossible to produce bat drops of minus 8, 9, 10 or greater.

Today's NASA-grade aluminum, double-walled, nitrogen filled, $300+ bats that are only good for one season are specifically designed to maximize the "trampoline effect" and bat speed which results in the ball traveling further and faster.

The best way to end the aluminum/wood bat debate is to pitch batting practice to a group of 12 or 13 year-old kids using high-performance $300+ aluminum bats and then hand them a wood bat --- see for yourself.

If aluminum and wood are the "same" then why not limit bat drops to say -3 or -2 and use first generation aluminum bat materials?

Posted by Dean
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 9:39 am

Starting this year the local girl’s fastpitch league, SRVGAL has made a full face fielders mask mandatory for the pitcher, 1st and 3rd. Our girls also use the expensive composite bats and the pitcher is only 40 feet from the batter. And that’s prior to her stride. It's time to look at fielder masks for baseball. Sure it's not cool but neither is a broken nose or missing teeth or worse in the case of the Marin player.

Posted by Steven Sutherland
a resident of Danville
on Mar 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Safety is key for youth baseball! Just make sure league rules are up todate with new products from major sports vendors! Rawlings has s100 Helmet which withstands 100 MPH Fastballs! Every youth should have one for $89.00. Safety in baseball will preserve it for future generations!
Steven Sutherland
Web Link

Posted by Wendy
a resident of Danville
on Apr 4, 2010 at 5:54 pm

As in all sports there are inherent dangers no matter how hard you try to prevent them. As to wooden bats being safer, I am surprised that people have overlooked the fact that wooden bats frequently break with the result of the wooden barrel along with large pieces of wood and splinters flying simultaneously at players along with the ball in an explosive shrapnel effect that is also dangerous to unprotected passerbyers and spectators. Instead of just a single ball to contend with (and try to field) there are now multiple flying projectiles. Wooden bats break frequently because of the smaller sweet spot. When contact is made on places other than the sweet spot (especially closer toward the handle) the bat will break. It is not unusual for a player to go through 3-4 wooden bats in a single tournament.
As to cost, a good quality maple or oak bat will cost $65-100 or more. Bats made from ash and other woods are cheaper but also weaker and more likely to break. Manufacturers will not guarantee wood bats (except very limited warranty on bamboo) at all for the very reason they can break easily. I've seen $50 go into the trash in the first 2 swings especially with younger players who have yet to developed a trained eye.
I believe the issue of reaction time with aluminum bats is best approached from the manufacturer and league regulations limiting certain types of high performance aluminum bats at certain levels of play. Regulation such as these have been incorporated in the National Club Baseball Association. The high school player looking to compete in the NCAA would be at a disadvantage with these restrictions needing to adjust to the faster paced game.

Posted by Jenny
a resident of Blackhawk
on Apr 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm

The young baseball player from Marin Catholic is now aware of his surroundings, he is able to take a short walk with the aid of the nurses, a few suffle steps, but he is still unable to talk which is frustrating him. The good news is that he is being released from Marin General to a rehabilitation facility in San Francisco.

The first agenda item set when NCS athletic directors meet next will be the evaluation of aluminum bats at the high school level. Already Marin Athletic League and the Larkspur Little League have gone to wood bats for the remainder of the season.

Our prayers and thoughts are with Gunnar Sandberg, #17.

Posted by DearWendy
a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School
on Apr 6, 2010 at 2:48 pm

A player going through 3-4 bats per tournament, might that be a bit of an exageration? At that rate I would then expect a Giant/Dodger's weekend series to go through 54-72 bats, that ain't going to happen. Anyway oak bats generally crack much more often than actually breaking in two, but you are right about the maple bats, they shatter, an issue that MLB must contend with in the future.

NHFS girl softball is moving their mound back 3 feet for the 2010-2011 season. NFHS/NCAA realize a continuing problem with the dangers of the aluminum bat and consequently will be again lowering the acceptable livliness of the aluminum or non-wood bat with a BBCOR rating starting Jan 1, 2011, on top of the BESR rating already in place.

Is that really enough for youth baseball?

Some further considerations:

1.) Move pitching mound back from 46 feet to 50 feet.
2.) Provide protective head gear for pitcher.
3.) Reduce the livliness of the little league ball (less than MLB)
4.) Regulate non-wood bat performance beyond NFHS/NCAA standards

I am not against aluminum bats, but would like to see them regulated to be at least equivalent to that of a wood bat.

Posted by DearWendyII
a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School
on Apr 6, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Sorry, that should read read ash, not oak.

According to the 2008 MLB study prior to implementing new wood bat regulation, approximately 2.7% bats were either cracked or broken at the plate. This percentage was obtained under extreme conditions, professional pitching speeds, and professional batting swings, also including the much higher percentage of maple bats which are more prone to break, and even shatter.

Therefore taking this professional broken bat (either craked or broken) and applying to DLL Majors where the pitching is 50-65mph, the number of broken or craked bats would be 97, or nearly 100 over the course of the season. That may seem like a lot, but remember this is a professional broken bat rate. However even at this rate 100 bats pers season x $60 = 6000.

High performance aluminum bats range from $250 to $300.

112 Major players @ $250 per bat = $28,000

A more likely average bat cost per player is $125 or $14,000 per season per league.

I would be hard pressed to believe that more than 50 wood bats would break at DLL Major pitching and bat swing speeds, per season, per league.

More info on wood bats.

Web Link

Posted by Gary
a resident of Danville
on Apr 7, 2010 at 8:22 am

I grew up playing baseball all the way through high school with wooden bats. My baseball "experience" was just fine, thank you. We still hit home runs, still banged balls out to the corners of the outfield, still scored runs. I laugh at those that think taking away aluminum bats from today's kids is akin to taking away a player's fielding glove. And the "expense" of wooden bats? Puleeeease! Check out how much those expensive "bat/equipment" bags (with rollers, yet!) most kids cart to their games cost. There is money there, believe it.

If some coaches or parent think that their little Johnny won't post the results without his $350 aluminum bat and therefore won't make the major leagues, forget it. And by the way, they use wood in the MLB and minor leagues, right?

I also suggest that the great scientific minds of sports equipment design sit down and come up with a "pitcher's helmet" which in my mind would be a modified version of a batting helmet. Before anyone cries "boo, can't happen", remember, goalies in the old NHL never wore masks, and nowadays, no one would play goalie or hockey at all without the protection of a mask/helmet. It CAN be done. Change is possible.

Last year, a 16-year old player I coached nearly took the head off of a pitcher with a line shot back to the mound, and luckily it "just" grazed his shoulder with no major injury -- but it scared everyone there who saw it. Too frightful, trust me. Let's go back to wood, the way baseball should played.

Posted by Lawson
a resident of Danville
on Apr 7, 2010 at 9:37 am

I was at the Arizona/Cal college game on Thursday. The Arizona pitcher was struck in the forehead by a line drive. The ball was hit with such force the ball landed down the right field line. His mother was sitting right next to me and to see what this woman was feeling with her son down on the ground can not be explained. Fortunatly he only had a mild concussion. The balls fly off those bats with no reaction time for the pitcher. Even infielders get balls hit so hard that they can't field.
Connie Mack which is a high level amatuer baseball ball league has gone to wood bats. It has made the game a lot safer for everybody.
It is probably going to take some one getting killed for anyone to change from Aluminum to wood. And that's sad.

Posted by Doug
a resident of Danville
on Apr 7, 2010 at 9:39 am

I appreciate the comments on the aluminum vs wood bats - but there is a very simple alternative as well. Something I have been a proponent of for years, but continually get shot down in the name of "tradition".

Make the pitcher wear a hockey style shell - ideally with a face guard.

Hockey pros finally chucked tradition and went with safety. MLB now makes the 1st and 3rd base coaches wear a protective shell (it required the death of a AAA base coach to make the rule change)

Batters should be required to wear helmets with face guards as well.

I know this is "not cool" but neither were bicycle helmets...

Posted by Safety First
a resident of Danville
on Apr 7, 2010 at 10:35 am

There wasn't ever a need for such extensive safety equipment for the pitcher until the arrival of high performance aluminum/composite bats in the last decase or so.

Now softball pitchers MUST start their delivery three feet back and wear a face shield starting in 2011.

Web Link

I have already seen them on several softball pitchers, and they are not that "uncool".

Time for youth baseball to make some adjustments.

Posted by Walk-off Single
a resident of Danville
on Apr 7, 2010 at 10:58 am

At the Cal game, the ball came screaming off Bellarmine College Prep star Mark Canha's aluminum bat at 110 mph and hit against the side of Arizona pitcher Kurt Heyer's head. The ball bounced off his head and stopped nearly sixty feet away down the right field line.

It could have taken his life, he was in such a daze, that when he stood up, he attempted taking some practice pitches to remain in the game, before the trainer evenyually took him off the field.

Posted by Coach
a resident of Danville
on Apr 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Gary: I agree 100% with you. It is absolutely time to outlaw anything but wooden bats in all little league, high school, and colleges. Problem is that the aluminum bat manufacturers spend so much money sponsoring little league and colleges that the boards of the leagues give in to them. I would love to see Danville Little League Board take the lead by outlawing anything but wooden bats. Any adult who has thrown batting practice in little league knows how ridiculously fast the ball comes off aluminum bats, particularly the combat bats that are so popular in most young leagues. I would love to see the Danville Express go to the President of Danville Little League, and get a response from him on this issue.

Posted by Reaction Time
a resident of Danville
on Apr 7, 2010 at 1:27 pm

I suppose some action could be taken at the little league district or league level, but for the most part LL districts take their lead from LLB Williamsport, PA. LLB Williamsport, PA states that only 1% of their revenue comes from aluminum bat manufacturers, so accordingly they claim no vested financial interest in promoting aluminum bats over wood bats in the youth game. LLB Williamsport, PA also stands by the assertion that aluminum bats are no more dangerous than wood bats, although the NCAA management council has a letter on file strongly disagreeing.

I do though find it rather absurd that LLB does everything to protect the pitcher's throwing arm through a carefully monitored pitch count rule, but then does nothing to move the mound back to fifty feet similar to other youth baseball leagues in our area, or regulate the baseball bat to the stricter high school standards.

Thus, the carefully monitored LLB pitcher on the mound who takes a direct line drive shot off his forehead from forty-six feet will still have a healthy and pristine pitching arm when regains consciousness.

As we know, softball is moving their mound back from 40 feet to 43 feet, a three foot or 7.5% increased setback.

If LLB were to move their mound back for the Majors division, from 46 feet to 50 feet, the additional four foot would represent a relatively similar increased setback of 8.7%.

How about even considering an additional two foot increased setback from the current forty-six feet mound to forty-eight feet, just a slight distance increase of 4.3% for improved safety?

The last time the LLB mound was extended was 1959, over 50 years ago.

Might the dynamics of youth baseball changed just a little since then?

Posted by Smart Cookie
a resident of Danville
on Apr 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm

You are right! It was exactly 50 years ago to this very date.

Web Link

Apr 7, 1959 - In an effort to protect its players‚ Little League moves its pitcher's mound 2 feet back‚ from 44 to 46.

Posted by Wendy
a resident of Danville
on Apr 8, 2010 at 10:25 pm

In response to "Dear Wendy". As aforementioned, a younger player does not have the trained eye & coordination of a MLB player and is less likely to hit the sweet spot. Albeit, the younger player is not as strong & the pitch not as fast but it does not take much to break a wood bat if it catches the wrong part of the bat--like off the end or handle. It might not shatter but it will crack & not be allowed in the game for good reason.

Although Danville is an area of above average household income, there are families that can not afford or prefer to budget their money on other things than expensive sports equipment. So cost is a factor in this area as well as others. The cost of joining a traveling tournament team can be prohibitive just by itself.

Posted by Wendy
a resident of Danville
on Apr 8, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I should add, of course, safety & the well being of the players should always come before cost. The previous submission was just in response to other comments. I would like to see the performance level of the aluminum bats reduced to level equivalent to wood. If they could design a wood bat that didn't shatter or break easily that would be my first choice. I believe swinging a wood bat is better for developing a player's swing & who doesn't love the sound of the "crack!" of a well hit ball off a wood bat?

Posted by Final Thought
a resident of Danville
on Apr 8, 2010 at 11:40 pm

One final comment about wood bats.

When I was a kid the little league coach would have about 7 wooden bats in a simple canvas bat bag that he would supply for the entire team, a 30, 31, and 32, and perhaps just a few extra bats for variety. Yes, if you really wanted to, you could bring your own wooden bat to the game, but there really wasn't a reason because all the bats at the time were generally the same except for their length and weight. This practice of team-supplied bats even carried over with the introduction of the first generation of aluminum bats. However, with the advent of the high performance aluminum bat, bats have become much more individualistic, one piece, two piece, flex, rigid, hybrid, composite, etc., each young boy now carries their own bat to practice and to the game. In the past, when I played the game as a child, as mentioned, all the bats were provided by the team.

Now during the game depending on the inning, outs, score, base runners and possibly even the current temperture (I played in cold weather at times)you could choose whatever bat from the bag you thought was best for the situation. Most of the time, it was just your lucky and preferred wooden bat. It certainly wasn't scientific, perhaps we were at a disadvatage as hitters, but we still managed to hit doubles, triples, and homeruns, and had real fun doing it!!!

The game was much more communal game with the wood bat, than with the modern state-of-the-art and individualistically designed aluminum bat. I realize that those days of general communal sharing in baseball have been lost for some time (we now even have are own batting helmets --- in the past any helmet would do).

Wood bats still stand to equalize the game.

The boy from the less fortunate family or neighborhood is not going to be swinging a $350 high performance aluminum bat at the plate, if we all have wood bats in our hands at the plate.

I do though appreciate your thoughts on wood bats, I just don't believe or recall breaking as many bats as you believe would occur.

Connie Mack, by the way, is now an all wood bat league.

Posted by listentothedoc
a resident of Danville
on Apr 10, 2010 at 3:21 pm

It makes absolutely no sense that girls softball requires head gear for the pitchers and LL does not follow. Do boys have harder heads than girls?

Since there is a lot of talk and no action thus far, 3 of our pitchers are going to wear some type of batters helmet while up on the mound...certainly not a perfect solution but they're going to do it together, and it's a start. Come on coaches and parents let's all do this thing together!

BTW-we have a friend who is a pediatrician and sees all kinds of injuries to the head from baseball, namely pitchers. He made a good point, even if a kid survives a ball to the head, they can have all kinds of chronic problems including headaches, memory loss, dizziness just to name a few.

Posted by Russian Roulette
a resident of Danville
on Apr 11, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I applaud your efforts, you definitely have the power and right to protect your own children, but don't expect the community at-large to change their behavior, the bat companies continue to pump out misinformation and high preformance bats regardless the situation, too much money involved. Yes, there have been limited and sporadic civic revolts, such as in NYC, North Dakota, Massachusetts and many other local municipalaties, but the bat companies realize the protest is much too fragmented.

The struggle to have aluminum bats made equivalent to that of wood bats has been going for over twenty years. It is deep and it is dirty!

America's past time for our youth has now become in some ways a game of Russian Roulette.

Good Luck!

Posted by LineShot
a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm

The original LL baseball field in 1938 had the pitcher mound set at 38 feet, this was though quickly lengthened to 40 feet. By 1958 the pitcher's mound had been stretched out to 44 feet. In 1959, the pitching mound dimension was once again lengthened, the mound was adjusted an additional two feet outward to its current 46 feet. This distance has remained in effect despite our young boys becoming bigger and stronger for their age, swinging lighter bats which are now manufactured out of aluminum and other space-age materials, and many baseball players specializing in the sport year-round.

The homerun fences at Williamsport, PA although they varied over the early years were definitely well inside the 200 feet range until 1959 when Lamade Stadium was designed and constructed. The new LL ballbark fence distance was thus set at a permanent 200 feet until 1996 when the distance was again extended five feet, to 205 feet. Even when the new Volunteer Statdium at Williamsport, PA was designed and constructed in 2001, the homerun distance remained at the mildly adjusted 205 feet.

Just five years forward, a short span later in 2006, the Williamsport, PA homerun distance at Volunteer Statdium was again reset and extended out an extraordinary 20 feet, to 225 feet in an effort to reduce the number of fast increasing homeruns. However, despite the phenomenal increase in homerun blasts at the Williamsport, PA stadium the pitching mound distance has never been corresponding adjusted over the years.

Homeruns, despite the 2006 Willaimsport, PA adjustment are still being hit much too frequently.

Keep in mind, the last time the LL baseball pitching mound distance was extended was over 50 years ago, in 1959.

Oddly, despite the latest homerun fence distant adjustment which directly corresponds to the introduction of high performance aluminum baseball bats, many people and organizations still claim that aluminum bats are no more dangerous than wood bats.

Knock yourself out, explaining that one!

Posted by AdvantGuard
a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Change is awfully slow and gradual in baseball, but it does come. It was once thought that baseball players who wore gloves on their hands were sissies. Gloves are now worn by every baseball player on the field, today. Same situation with batting helmets for the professional baseball player, and then again years later introducing batting helments with the ear flap protection.

The Dixie Youth baseball league that is active in 11 Southern States has required youth baseball players to wear an attached polycarbonate or wire face mask to their batting/running helmet since 1993. It is now just an accepted practice.

If you want it to become acceptable for LL pitchers to begin wearing face and head protection, you might start with the batter. Once all the boys and girls begin wearing face mask protection at the plate, it is not that far of a leap for a pitcher to begin wearing some extra protection.

We need to get beyond the sissy factor.

Posted by Killer Bats
a resident of Danville
on Apr 27, 2010 at 6:34 am

Last night the NCS Board of Managers (Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon) voted to allow non-wood bats (i.e., high performance aluminum bats) to remain in play during the remainder of the 2010 high school baseball season throughout the NCS playoffs.

After a long discussion the NCS believes that baseballs come off aluminum bats only 2/100ths of a second faster. The safety issues surrounding aluminum bats will though be discussed at subsequent NCS board meetings, but NCS is simply following NFHS lead.

If you would like to state your opinion regarding the dangers of aluminum bats, please feel free to e-mail Gil Lemon at CIF-NCS,

Posted by APRT
a resident of Danville
on Apr 27, 2010 at 8:41 pm

NCS-CIF Board of Managers missed the point last night at their meeeting in which they discussed the relative safety of high performance aluminum bats in comparison to wood bats.

The Board members should have started with the concept of APRT (Available Pitcher Response Time). That is how much time a pitcher needs to defend and protect himself from a line shot, and then work backwards to determine the actual designed safety level of the high performance aluminum bat for the high school pitcher.

Aluminum bat manufacturers as we all know have the ability to make aluminum bats even safer than wood bats, or from a reasonable responsibility standpoint at least equal to wood bat performance.

CIF-NCS board president Gil Lemmon believes that an aluminum bat may only increase the speed of the bat by 2/100ths of a second, while others believe it can be up to 4/100ths of a second.

For the sake of my argument below I will utilize the CIF-NCS board's estimate of 2/100ths of a second.

As we know, a high school baseball can be hit off an high performance aluminum bat at a top end speed ranging somewhere from 100-110mph. That speed translates to a travel distance of between 146.6 and 161.3 feet per second. Therefore within this mere 2/100ths of a second timeframe this particular baseball will have traveled an additional 2.9 and 3.2 feet towards the pitcher.

Consider that after the baseball is hit out in front of the plate, and the pitcher finishes his stride toward the plate, the pitcher is left with approximately 50 feet to react to the baseball.

The high performance aluminum bat with its 2/100th of a second increased pop over a wood bat has thus diminished the pitcher's available reaction distance by roughly 6 percent (~3 feet/50 feet).

Amador Valley High School coach Lou Cesario watched his pitcher, Will Lamarche during an Easter tournament in April 2008 lose his front teeth while suffering a fractured jaw. Gunnar Sandberg is recuperating in a San Francisco rehab hospital with a piece of his skull missing from his head.

Could a wood bat have accomplished this same unfortunate feat? Absolutely! Should aluminum bats be designed and manufactured with more performance than wood bats, considering the already enlarged sweet spot of an aluminum bat? Absolutely not!

CIF-NCS, please work backwards when considering the safety of aluminum bats in high school, start with the Available Response Time for the Pitcher, first!

Thank you for your consideration.

Posted by Debate Over
a resident of Danville
on May 31, 2010 at 11:30 am

Lost in the news!

A thirteen year old eighth grade student, Brady Lee Frazier, from upper state New York died this month after sustaining a traumatic head injury taken from a high performance composite bat line shot to the head.

The Sporting Good Manufacturing Association (SMGA) has closed debate on the matter and is on record claiming that the young boy's death was not the result of an aluminum bat (technicallly it was a composite bat)as the boy might have been killed with a wood bat, just as well.

Facebook Memorial: Brady Lee Frazier (October 8, 1996 - May 8, 2010)

Web Link


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