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BRAVES STAR JASON HEYWARD SIGNS WITH LOUISVILLE SLUGGER®

LOUISVILLE, KY – (June 12, 2013) -Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward, one of Major League Baseball’s brightest young stars, has signed a contract with Louisville Slugger, the most historic bat maker in the game. Heyward is swinging Louisville Slugger's new and innovative MLB Prime and now, as a contract guy, his signature will appear on his bats; a tradition Louisville Slugger created with professional baseball players more than 100 years ago.

"Jason has been using our bats for a large part of his time in the big leagues," said Louisville Slugger Manager of Professional Baseball Sales Chuck Schupp. "He’s tried bats from other companies but is now commited to Slugger. He is firm in his belief that Slugger will provide consistent and reliable product and service. We’ll provide him that and more with our new MLB Prime wood."

Heyward, who was the Braves' first round pick in the 2007 amateur draft, debuted at the age of 20. He hit a three-run home run in his first MLB® plate appearance in 2010, was a starter in the 2010 All-Star Game® his rookie season and finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. He has 64 home runs in just over three MLB seasons, including 27 in 2012. He is swinging Louisville Slugger's I13C model bat, 34 inches and 31.5 ounces, and orders both ash and maple models. The I13 is a model also swung by current stars like Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays and Zack Cozart of the Cincinnati Reds.

Heyward joins Braves stars of the past like Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Dale Murphy and Fred McGriff as Louisville Slugger contract players as well as current Braves B.J. Upton and Evan Gattis in swinging Louisville Slugger bats. As a contract player, his signature will be featured on the barrel of all his Louisville Slugger MLB Prime bats.

"Jason is the kind of guy we always look to sign," Schupp said. "He’s a young star on and off the field. He’ll leave his mark on the game for many years. We are continually looking for impact players like Jason to trust our products and brand and be the ‘Guy’ for Slugger."

MLB PRIME – THE HARDEST BATS. EVER.

MLB Prime bats made their debut in Major League Baseball on Opening Day of the 2013 season. Louisville Slugger MLB Prime bats are made from the highest-quality furniture-grade veneer logs. They are cut in the Amish craftsmanship tradition, then vacuum-dried to maximize hardness. MLB Prime barrels are then made even harder by Louisville Slugger’s proprietary 360-degree compression. Finally, they receive Louisville Slugger’s new Advanced Finish System with 9H on the universal hardness scale, 30 percent harder than the finish on competitors' bats.

The same highest-quality-available MLB Prime wood bats that Jason Heyward and other big leaguers swing are also available for amateur players at retail.

About Louisville Slugger
Louisville Slugger® is synonymous with baseball and softball. It is the leading brand in diamond sports. The company makes the #1 Bat in Major League Baseball, bats that are swung by the best of the best – Derek Jeter, Josh Hamilton, Joey Votto, Curtis Granderson and David Wright, among hundreds of other current MLB stars. They've all joined in Louisville Slugger's storied history to become part of a "Slugger Guy" fraternity that includes the greatest hitters to ever step up to the plate – Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, George Brett, Tony Gwynn and Ken Griffey Jr., to name just a few. Louisville Slugger also makes industry-leading equipment for youth, high school and college players. It sponsors top-level NCAA Division 1 baseball programs, including the 2012 National Champion Arizona Wildcats.

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