NPR logo

Maple, Ash Baseball Bats May Strike Out

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/92222323/92222319" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Maple, Ash Baseball Bats May Strike Out

Sports

Maple, Ash Baseball Bats May Strike Out

Maple, Ash Baseball Bats May Strike Out

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/92222323/92222319" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Last week, Major League Baseball's safety and health advisory committee met to discuss the safety and future of maple baseball bats. The problem is that when maple bats break, they shatter dangerously, sending shards of wood flying.

Brian Boltz, general manager of Larimer & Norton Inc., the timber division of Hillerich & Bradsby — also known as the maker of Louisville Slugger bats — and Lloyd Smith, associate professor of mechanical and materials engineering at Washington State University, talk about how bats are made and why different wood bats behave differently at the plate.

The ash bat industry, meanwhile, has a problem too. Sven-Erik Spichiger, an entomologist for the plant protection division at the Plant Industry Bureau, discusses the emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle that could threaten the ash bat industry.

Related NPR Stories

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.