Many sports around the world today are known for the particular equipment they use, such as hockey sticks, tennis racquets, and of course, baseball bats and catcher’s mitts. Hugely popular in the United States and Japan, baseball and softball requires the right bats and mitts for any casual or professional game. So, a player may visit sports goods outlets to find wooden baseball bats or metal models instead. While an off-the-shelf baseball bat is perfectly fine for a game, some players prefer rolled and shaved bats, or doctored bats. Why look for rolled softball bats or shaved bats, though? These rolled and shaved bats offer better performance than regular bats, and an interested customer can either buy rolled and shaved bats online or take a metal or wooden bat to a nearby service to have them modified. Rolled bats can also act as stand-ins for prized wooden bats during practice.
Rolling Wooden Baseball Bats
The traditional material for making baseball bats and softball bats is ash wood, and that tradition continues today. These bats are made of natural wood fibers, and as a bat is used, impacts from the ball will break and bend those fibers. This is to be desired, since enough pressure on the bat will break it in and make it more flexible if the fibers are bent and broken properly. Fully broken in bats will strike a ball further than fresh wooden ones, and a player may have several prized bats in their collection like this. But in some cases, a player wants a flexible bat right away, so they can look online to buy rolled bats, or visit a rolling service.
A customer can buy a fresh wooden bat, then take it to a rolling service. There, the staff will pass that wooden bat through a series of rollers, and the pressure will bend and break the bat’s fibers to simulate hours of practice and striking balls. Care should be taken, of course, so that bat is not damaged or broken with excess pressure. Done right, and the rolling process will result in a bat that closely mimics the performance of a fully broken in bat. Why do this? A player may not want to risk damaging their prized bats during practice, so they can use these rolled bats as proxies during practice sessions without worry. That, and a player might use rolled bats in casual games where league rules are not enforced. Take note that rolled bats are not allowed in sanctioned games, and an expert on the field may recognize a rolled bat on sight.
Shaving Metal Bats
The business of rolled and shaved bats extends to metal bats as well, and metal bats are hollow on the inside and lined with padding. That padding is essential, as it keeps the bat together as it strikes balls. These metal bats cannot be rolled like a wooden bat since they lack natural fibers, but they can be shaved to enhance their performance. A player may buy shaved bats online, or visit a service that will shave them on request.
At these services, employees will remove a metal bat’s end cap to expose the hollow interior, then place that bat on a lathe table and allow a rotating grinder surface to get inside. That grinder will scrap away a few ounces of material, and care will be taken so that the grinder won’t remove an excessive amount. Once this is done, the bat is removed and its end cap is replaced. It is now ready for use.
If the correct amount of interior padding is removed, then the bat is made more flexible, and this allows it to strike baseballs further than non-doctored metal bats. This makes metal bats a fine choice for casual games. But no material should be removed from the bat’s handle, or it may shatter during use. It should also be noted that metal bats should not be used in temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and they are no allowed in sanctioned games, where rolled wooden bats are also forbidden from use.