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MARTY ARCHER HANDS REINS OF LOUISVILLE SLUGGER TO BILL CLARK

LOUISVILLE, KY (April 18, 2011) –Just as Joe DiMaggio handed over center field to Mickey Mantle, a new era is underway in the historic Louisville Slugger® division of Hillerich & Bradsby Co., the 127-year-old maker of Louisville Slugger, TPX® and TPS® bats, gloves and accessories for baseball and softball, and the Official Bat of Major League Baseball®.

After 24 years of leading H&B’s venerable Louisville Slugger division, president Marty Archer, 59, is turning the reins over to Bill Clark, 49, the newly named president of the Louisville Slugger division.  Archer is stepping into a new role with H&B as president emeritus of Louisville Slugger.  He will have responsibility for the division’s strategic relationships with Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and amateur governing organizations.  He will also serve as an advisor to Clark in his role as Louisville Slugger division president.

“It’s an exciting time for me and for Louisville Slugger,” Archer, the 35-year veteran of Hillerich & Bradsby Co., said in a companywide meeting.  “I’m eager to work on enhancing our already great relationships in baseball at both the professional and amateur levels while hopefully reducing the number of hours I work every week.  Meanwhile, I know H&B’s Louisville Slugger division will be in very capable hands.  Bill Clark is ready for the responsibility, and he’s hungry to win by creating the best products and delivering the most outstanding service in the industry.”

A 19-year veteran with H&B, Clark has been president of the company’s Bionic Technologies division since its formation in 2001 and also served as president of H&B’s TPS Hockey division.  He joined the company’s Louisville Slugger division in 1992 after a fast-track sales career with Merck, one of Fortune 500’s 20 largest companies in America.  While in the Louisville Slugger division, Clark was involved with the company’s unparalleled growth in the non-wood bat category and was also part of the company’s diversification into a wide variety of baseball accessories.

 “I’m humbled and honored to follow in the very large footsteps of Marty Archer as president of Louisville Slugger,” Clark told H&B employees.  “Marty is among the finest men I’ve ever been privileged to know.  I’ve learned so much from him in my time at H&B.  He has made a major impact on my life, not only in business but also as a husband and a father.  I’m blessed to be able to call him my friend and mentor.”

Archer has hall-of-fame credentials in the sporting goods industry.  He joined H&B as Traffic and Distribution Manager in 1976 and became Sales Manager of Athletic Goods in 1983.  Four years later, Archer was promoted to the position of General Manager of Athletic Goods and later that year was named Vice President.  He was made President of Louisville Slugger in 1997.

Through his tenure with H&B, Archer helped the company as it developed into much more than just the world’s number one maker of wooden baseball bats.  Archer’s vision and efforts helped Louisville Slugger become the pre-eminent maker of non-wood bats for youth, high school, college and amateur baseball and softball. He also oversaw the company’s growth in the fielding glove, batting glove, catchers gear, equipment bags and accessories categories.

“Marty’s knowledge of the baseball and softball industries is unmatched, and the relationships he has built over 35 years are unsurpassed,” said John A. Hillerich IV, the fifth- generation Hillerich family member to serve as President & CEO of Hillerich & Bradsby.  “H&B is fortunate to have Marty Archer in this important new role and excited about the experience and enthusiasm Bill Clark brings to leading Louisville Slugger in retaining its position as the number one brand in baseball.”

About Louisville Slugger®
Louisville Slugger® is the Official Bat of Major League Baseball and is a name that is synonymous with America's pastime. Originating in 1884, Louisville Slugger bats have graced the hands of the greatest players in baseball history including Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron, to name just a few. Stars of today also swing Louisville Slugger bats, including Alex Rodriguez, Dustin Pedroia, Jim Thome, David Wright and Joey Votto. 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 players. 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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