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LOUISVILLE SLUGGER – HISTORY & INNOVATION

LEAVING A MARK ON BASEBALL FOR 130 YEARS

LOUISVILLE, KY (March 30, 2014) –Opening Day is here! Optimism abounds. Every team is in first place.

While every new baseball season is big and important in its own unique way, few have been bigger or more important than 2014. It’s Derek Jeter’s final season. Fans celebrate 100 years of Wrigley Field. The largest class ever will be inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Only one member of baseball’s fraternity of MLB® clubs, players, coaches, and suppliers has left its mark on all that history coming to a head in 2014 – Louisville Slugger®, the Number One and Official Bat of MLB. And to add to the excitement of 2014, the company happens to be celebrating its 130th year on the diamond. Louisville Slugger made its first bat on a spring day in 1884.

“Louisville Slugger has been part of Opening Day since there was an Opening Day,” said the historic company’s president Bill Clark. “We’re honored to be in this great game and continue leaving our mark season after season. 2014 is going to be an exciting year for Major League Baseball and our company.”

Louisville Slugger certainly has left its mark. Its bat has been in Derek Jeter’s hands every time he’s stepped to the plate. It’s been part of every game played in every one of Wrigley Field’s 100 years. And Louisville Slugger has been the bat of choice for 80 percent of the hitters in the Hall of Fame.

“We’ve been part of more home runs, base hits, RBIs, and historic moments than all other baseball companies combined,” Clark said, “We know we’ll be part of more history that will be made on the field this season as players like David Wright, Buster Posey, Evan Longoria, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Adam Jones, and Curtis Granderson leave their marks just as we expect Derek Jeter to in this, his final season.”

Louisville Slugger is also bringing something from its historic past back onto the field in 2014 – bone rubbed bats.

“We bone rubbed bats in the 1920s, ‘30s, and ‘40s,” said the company’s Director of Wood Bat Manufacturing Bobby Hillerich, a fifth-generation family bat maker. “It went away, but now we’ve brought it back under a new innovative process because players want the hardest bat possible. Our proprietary bone rubbing process closes the grain of the barrel to give players the hardest Louisville Slugger ever.”

The company is also introducing new finishes on MLB bats in 2014 – high definition gloss and matte.

“All players want the hardest bat possible, but they like choices when it comes to appearance,” Hillerich said. “We worked with one of our partners to give players more variety from the standard finishes we’ve offered. The guys who saw the new high definition and matte finishes in spring training couldn’t wait to order bats for Opening Day.”

No doubt, those MLB players will be leaving their mark on baseball in 2014 with their new, ultra hard Louisville Slugger bats.

130 BATS FOR 130 YEARS!

To celebrate 130 years in baseball and Opening Day, Louisville Slugger and several media partners are giving away 130 red, white and blue collectible bats engraved with MLB’s official 2014 Opening Day logo and special branding. To win a commemorative bat and find out who else is helping give them away, fans need to follow Louisville Slugger on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and keep an eye out for the hashtag #130for130. Fans who Tweet and Instagram are encouraged to tag @sluggernation and use hashtag #130for130.

LOUISVILLE SLUGGER – 130 YEARS – FAST FACTS

  • Made more than 120 million bats since 1884
  • Part of every MLB Opening Day
  • Responsible for more HRs, RBIs, base hits and historic moments than all other bat companies combined
  • A Louisville Slugger P72 model, 34-inch, 32-ounce Louisville Slugger bat has been in Derek Jeter’s hands for every at bat he’s taken in Major League Baseball.
  • Louisville Slugger bats have been part of every game played in Wrigley Field’s 100 years
  • Louisville Slugger was the first sporting goods company to sign a professional athlete to an endorsement contract, Honus Wagner in 1905
  • Over 8,500 players have been under contract to swing Louisville Slugger through the years including stars of today like Buster Posey, Joey Votto, David Wright, Evan Longoria, Jay Bruce, Adam Jones and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter
  • 80 percent of the hitters in Baseball’s Hall of Fame swung Louisville Slugger
  • Louisville Slugger has created over 8,000 different bat models during its 130 years, bats that are now being copied by as many as 31 competitors
  • Louisville Slugger may be 130 years old, but the company continues to innovate in wood bats, creating proprietary processes and finishes to make its bats the hardest and best performing in baseball
  • Louisville Slugger is more than a bat company, making state-of-the-art fielding gloves, protective equipment, equipment bags, batting gloves, training aids, apparel and custom uniforms, and also works with a variety of partners on a wide range of licensed products
  • Louisville Slugger has more top teams in Division I college baseball and Fastpitch softball than any other brand
  • Louisville Slugger is in its fifth generation of family ownership, owned and operated by the Hillerich family

About Louisville Slugger
Louisville Slugger® is the Official Bat of Major League Baseball® and the #1 Bat in MLB®. It is synonymous with America’s pastime. Originating in 1884, Louisville Slugger bats have graced the hands of the greatest players in baseball, including stars of today. Known for helping create baseball history, Louisville Slugger continues to innovate and provide players the products and confidence they need to make new history every day.

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