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First Time on Network TV That Wood Goes from Tree to a Bat Used on Field in MLB® Game

LOUISVILLE, KY – (April 4, 2012) In what’s believed to be the first time ever, a major sports network will show a Major League Baseball® player’s bats through every step of the process of becoming big league wood; starting with Louisville Slugger’s loggers as they select top grade timber in the forest.  The piece, which will air in ESPN’s Opening Night pre-game show Wednesday, April 4, will climax with the Miami Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez receiving the finished bats in the clubhouse and taking them to the plate against the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

“ESPN and producer Chris Bloxom have worked on this piece for nearly six months,” said Louisville Slugger® VP of Corporate Communications Rick Redman.  “They went into the forest in Pennsylvania where we harvest timber for Major League® bats last fall.  ESPN mounted cameras on the hard hats of loggers who scaled trees so they could capture never-seen-before video.”

From there ESPN cameras followed the logs to the mills where they are turned into billets to be made into Louisville Slugger bats.  But first, the wood goes through a drying process.  Time-lapse cameras were mounted on pallets of wood to show the journey from Pennsylvania to Louisville.  Once the timber arrived at the factory, the cameras followed every step the wood went through to become a Louisville Slugger, the number one bat in MLB. 

“This is Louisville Slugger’s 128th year in professional baseball.” Redman said.  “We’ve made bats for all the greats of the game, including today’s stars like Hanley Ramirez, Lance Berkman, Derek Jeter, Josh Hamilton, Joey Votto and hundreds of others.  But, to our knowledge, this is the first time network TV has done a comprehensive piece on what it takes to make a professional bat and then have a player take those bats onto the field and use them in a real MLB game on live TV.”

ESPN’s Opening Night pre-game show airs from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. ET Wednesday.  The Cardinals vs. Marlins game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.

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 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 Derek Jeter, 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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