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Thread: Maple vs Ash baseball bats

  1. #1
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    Maple vs Ash baseball bats

    I saw an interesting article in the paper about the making of baseball bats. It seems tha maple bats break far more frequently than ash bats,why do you think that is?
    Thanks
    Dennis

  2. #2
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    Some woods have a greater resistance to shock than others.
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  3. #3
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    Ash bends, cracks, and absorbs a lot of impact, so is less likely to break apart than the denser maple.
    Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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    I played baseball from the time I was 6 years old, until I could no longer play at age 40. I am still a huge fan of the game and stay involved in my community. I had a conversation with a former MLB player who is now the manager of our local Class A team while at a charity function last summer about Maple bats. MLB had a long standing rule that all baseball bats would be made out of Ash wood. Some thought that the reason Maple was being introduced over the past 10 years or so was because of the Emerald Ash borer but that's not true. They have started allowing Maple bats to be used because of the way the bat breaks. Ash has a tendency to break into two or three pieces with very sharp edges. They fly at players or into the stands causing many serious injuries over the years. Maple bats break differently. They tend to break into more pieces which lowers some risk factors for the fans in the stands and players on the field. A lighter piece of bat, flies a shorter distance than the large fat part of the bat. The debate goes on though as Maple bats break far more frequently than Ash bats do but there is an increased cost because players purchase twice as many to get through a season.

  5. #5
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    I turn both types and play with both types. From personal experience, Maple bats 'shatter' when they break. Ash bats 'splinter' in 2 or 3 big pieces. The maple bats I turn break more frequently than the ash bats.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by dennis thompson View Post
    I saw an interesting article in the paper about the making of baseball bats. It seems tha maple bats break far more frequently than ash bats,why do you think that is?
    Thanks
    Dennis
    Shorter fiber bundles and perhaps even less lignin, the glue that holds them together.

    Maple has never been a structural wood for any purpose, while ash was and is routinely used in boat and canoe framing and heavy-duty oars.

    The USDA test numbers are largely a wash between the two species, with Sugar Maple slightly more crush resistant and stronger in its ability to resist splitting, while White Ash is stronger in Impact Bending.... its ability to resist the blow of a weight dropped from a height that represents shock resistance and toughness.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 03-25-2010 at 9:31 AM.
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    That's odd. I remember reading an article a few years back about how MLB players were switching to maple bats because they lasted longer. Maple is denser than ash, so they had to bore a hole in the end to keep them within weight specs.

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    I thought one reason ash was used was because it's whippier, springier than most other common hardwoods, which would be useful during the swing.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gill View Post
    That's odd. I remember reading an article a few years back about how MLB players were switching to maple bats because they lasted longer. Maple is denser than ash, so they had to bore a hole in the end to keep them within weight specs.
    That dished out end is not for keeping the bats within specs but to lighten them for greater bat speed.

    MLB hitters are always looking for an advantage and that's the reasoning behind Maple bats. They feel that the Maple is harder and the ball comes off the bat hotter and travels further than it does with Ash bats. However, testing shows that there is virtually no difference between the two as far as performance.

    Someone is going to get seriously injured or killed because of Maple bats and maybe then, the Player's Ass'n will give in to an outright ban on them.
    Cody


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    I like the ones made out of cork.

  11. #11
    From what I've read the maple bats actually last longer than ash, but they don't show the wear and when they finally break it's unexpected and sudden.

    Ash bats tend to wear out gradually, with the grain layers starting to separate from each other with successive impacts.

  12. I follow the Braves and saw an interview last year with Brian McCann. He said that when he ordered Ash bats he would have to cull about twice as many of them as an order of Maple bats. He did mention the breaking pattern but his main reason was better quality more often.

  13. #13
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    Glad we could reach a consensus.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Holcomb View Post
    ...increased cost because players purchase twice as many to get through a season.
    For minor league players this would be a problem. They get paid half of nothing. For major leaguers, yeah whatever.

    -Brian

  15. #15
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    Maple has a shorter grain structure than ash, hickory, black locust and such. Decades ago, players used those woods because they were strong. If one was to make steam bent chair parts, it probably would not be maple that we reached for first. Maple is lighter than ash, but does not take the inside pitches as well, nor the outside pitches off of the end. When an ash bat "breaks", it tends to splinter, but a maple bat fractures in such a way it looks like it got sawed off usually. Rarely does a maple bat have a long fracture. I modified ash Louisville Sluggers for the Cape Cod baseball League players through the 80's and 90's. All they wanted was the right length, and as light as possible. Maple is supposed to feel lighter. Eventually, MLB will ban maple bats, it is on the agenda.
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