Louisville Slugger The Official Bat of Major League Baseball
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LOUISVILLE, KY (June 2, 2011) – Some of the greatest Reds of all time had contracts with Louisville Slugger®. Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, Barry Larkin and Ken Griffey, Jr., to name a few. Now 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto and teammate Drew Stubbs have joined the Louisville Slugger-Cincinnati Reds tradition. Both have signed contracts with the historic 127-year-old bat maker, joining other current Reds stars Jay Bruce, Chris Heisey, Brandon Phillips and Edgar Renteria as Louisville Slugger bat contract players.

"Having a contract with Louisville Slugger means a great deal to players," said the company's Professional Baseball Division Manager, Chuck Schupp. "They get the highest quality timber available and bats made to their exact specifications. They get outstanding service from our staff because we do whatever it takes to make our players happy and help them succeed. And, something that's very important to these guys, they get their signature on their bats instead of just having their name in block letters."

Even the greatest of Major League Baseball® stars say they realized they had made it to the big time when they saw their very own signature on a Louisville Slugger bat for the first time. Louisville Slugger created player signature bats in 1905 with Honus Wagner, one of the first five members of Baseball's Hall of Fame. As time marched on, 80 percent of hitters who made it into the Hall of Fame had contracts with Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball.

"Louisville Slugger is proud to add Joey Votto and Drew Stubbs to our list of over 8,500 pro players who signed contracts to swing our bats," Schupp said. "All the other bat companies combined can't match our record."

More than 60 percent of today's MLB players swing Louisville Slugger bats. Votto is currently using an M356 model ash bat with black filler. Stubbs is swinging an M301 ash model that's flame-tempered and has clear filler.

In addition to his NL MVP Award, Votto, a Toronto native, was presented the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's Athlete of the Year in 2010 when he had 37 HRs and 113 RBIs and hit .324 to lead the Reds to a division title and the playoffs.

Stubbs, from Atlanta, Texas, was a three-time All-American at the University of Texas prior to his pro career. The year 2010 was his first full season in the big leagues. He got off to a great start with 22 HRs and 77 RBIs.

Louisville Slugger bats are made by Hillerich & Bradsby Co. of Louisville, Ky. H&B produces 1.8 million wood bats per year and 1.5 million TPX and TPS aluminum, composite and hybrid bats for amateur baseball, slow-pitch softball and fastpitch softball.

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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