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A baseball bat is a smooth wooden or metal club used in the game of baseball to hit the ball after the ball is thrown by the pitcher. It is no more than 2.75 inches in diameter at the thickest part and no more than 42 inches (1067 mm) in length. It typically weighs no more than 36 ounces (1 kg). The batter uses the bat two-handed to try to hit a pitched ball fair so that he may become a runner, advance bases, and ultimately score a run or help preceding runners to score.

TerminologyEdit

Although using a stick to hit a ball is a somewhat simple concept, the bat is a complex object. It is carved or constructed very carefully to allow for a quick balanced swing, while providing power. The bat is divided into several regions. The barrel is the thick part of the bat, where the bat is meant to hit the ball. The part of the barrel best for hitting the ball with, according to construction and swinging style, is often called the sweet spot. The end of the barrel is not part of the sweet spot, and is simply called the tip or end of the bat. The barrel narrows, and becomes the handle. The handle is very thin, so that batters can comfortably set the bat in their fingers. Sometimes, especially on metal bats, the handle is wrapped with a rubber or cloth grip. Finally, next to the handle is the knob of the bat, a wider piece that keeps the bat from sliding out of a batter's hands. Over the centuries, the baseball bat's form has become more refined. During the 19th century, many shapes were experimented with, as well as handle designs. Today, the baseball bat is much more uniform in design.

"Lumber" is a sometimes-used slang term for a bat, especially when wielded by a particularly good batter.

The drop of a baseball bat is its length in inches minus its weight in ounces. For example, if a bat is 33" long and it weighs 30 ounces, then the drop is -3.

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Baseball bat regulationsEdit

Fungo batEdit

A fungo bat is specially designed bat used by baseball and softball coaches for practice purposes. The bat is designed to hit not thrown or pitched balls, but rather balls tossed up in the air. Typical fungo bats are 35–37 inches long and weigh 17–22 ounces. Coaches hit many balls during fielding practice, and the weight and length allow the coach to hit balls repeatedly with high accuracy.

ManufacturersEdit

A number of manufacturers construct a wide variety of baseball bats varying in size, length, style, and composition. Every player who plays at a professional grade is automatically given a standard contract by Louisville Slugger which he may sign, but is not required to.

Game-used batsEdit

Professional baseball bats used by Major League Baseball players. Many historic game-used bats are on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, including Roger Maris's 61st Home Run game-used bat and Mark McGwire's 65th, 66th, 67th, 68th, 69th, and 70th Home Run game-used bats. They have become a very popular collectible for sports fans.

Used as a weaponEdit

Baseball bats can be also used as a weapon: see club (weapon). In some countries where baseball is not popular, they are associated mostly with crime in the public mind. Also, TNA professional wrestler Sting (Steve Borden) uses a black baseball bat as his signature weapon.

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