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LOUISVILLE, KY July 10, 2011) – While Derek Jeter is the first member of the New York Yankees to reach 3,000 hits while wearing only a Yankee uniform,  he may also be the first player to reach that milestone while using just one bat model: a P72 Louisville Slugger®. 

“Derek Jeter is the most consistent customer we’ve ever had at Louisville Slugger,” according to the storied company’s Manager of Professional Baseball, Chuck Schupp. 

That’s saying a lot.  Louisville Slugger has made professional baseball bats for 127 years for virtually every Major League® and Minor League player to pick up a bat.

“Unlike other players, Derek has never changed.  Every at-bat he’s taken since the Minor Leagues has been with our P72 model bat, northern white ash.  Very few guys stick with just one model when they’ve played for as long as Derek.  I think that may be one of the reasons he’s had so much success.  Consistency gives him confidence.”  

Louisville Slugger’s P72 model is built for contact.  It has a medium-sized barrel, thin handle and balanced weight distribution, all making for a quick bat to get through the zone.   Louisville Slugger first made the P72 for Les Pinkham, a Minor League player from Elizabethtown, Ky., who never made it to the big leagues.

“Pinkham may not have made it to Major League Baseball®, but his bat sure did,” Schupp said.  “Cal Ripken Jr. and many other players have used the P72 as well.”

Jeter has used a P72 Louisville Slugger since he first came up in the Yankees’ Minor League organization in 1992.  He used a 33-1/2 inch, 31 or 32 ounce version until 1997, his 2 full season in MLB, when he switched to a 34 inch, 32 ounce model.  Since then every single at-bat Jeter has taken has been with a 34/32 P72 Louisville Slugger. 

“Louisville Slugger is honored to have been part of Derek’s amazing career,” Schupp said.  “3,000 hits, every one of them with a Louisville Slugger bat.  A sure-fire lock on the first ballot for the Hall of Fame.  Mr. November.  Captain Clutch.  The Captain.  Whatever you call him, Derek ranks among the greatest players of all time.  To top it off, he’s one of the classiest guys to ever put on a big league uniform.” 

Jeter signed a contract with Louisville Slugger in 1999 to have his signature on his bats, permit the company to use him in promotion and sell souvenir bats with his name on them.  Fans can purchase a replica of Derek Jeter’s Louisville Slugger P72 signature model bat, just like the one he’s used for all 3,000 of his career hits, available at www.sluggergifts.com.

“Signing Derek Jeter was one of the best decisions our company ever made,” Schupp said.

Derek Jeter's GAMEP72DJ Bat

About Louisville Slugger®
Louisville Slugger® is the Official Bat of Major League Baseball® and is a name synonymous with America’s pastime.  Originating in 1884, Louisville Slugger bats graced the hands of the greatest players in baseball history, including Babe Ruth, Ted Williams,  Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron, to name a few.  Sixty percent of MLB players today swing Louisville Slugger bats including Alex Rodriguez, Joey Votto, Jim Thome and Troy Tulowitzki.  Louisville Slugger also makes TPX® baseball equipment for college, high school and youth players, as well as TPS® equipment for slow-pitch and fastpitch softball.  Louisville Slugger is a brand of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co., a fifth generation family-owned business that also owns and operates Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and makes  PowerBilt® golf clubs and Bionic® Gloves for a variety of sports and hobbies.

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