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LOUISVILLE, KY – (February 20, 2008) Hillerich & Bradsby Co. and its Louisville Slugger® brand know how extremely particular Major League Baseball® players are about their bats.

Bud HillerichBabe Ruth liked knots. Ted Williams wanted narrow grain. Stan Musial preferred grain that was wide.

Jackie Robinson liked a thick handle. Tony Gwynn wanted his bats short and light.

“Louisville Slugger has been the bat of choice for Major Leaguers for 124 years in large part because of the relationships we have built with the players over the decades and learning the nuances of how each one wants his bats,” said Chuck Schupp, Louisville Slugger’s Director of Professional Baseball.

“Now, we’re going to put the person responsible for actually producing the bats – whose name happens to be Hillerich – into the clubhouses to continue forging those relationships.”

Brian Hillerich, Louisville Slugger’s Professional Bat Production Manager and the great grandson of the man who made the very first Louisville Slugger bat, is accompanying Schupp into MLB clubhouses to work directly with today’s players.

“We figured it would be a good thing to have a Hillerich back in the ballparks,” Brian said. “Making the best baseball bats in the world has been important to my family for over four generations. My great grandpa Bud worked directly with Major Leaguers, going to spring training and the ballparks during the season to talk with players around the batting cage. He wanted to know the specifics of how each player wanted his bats.”

Brian HillerichNow Brian Hillerich, with nearly a decade of Louisville Slugger bat manufacturing experience, will do the same.

“I’ve been designing all of our bats for Major League Baseball for a number of years, so we figure with me being in the clubhouse, I'll be able to personally help each player design a bat specifically for them.

“Honestly, I’m humbled to be able to do what my great grandpa started 124 years ago.”

For his part, Schupp has been working face-to-face with MLB players for 24 seasons. And he and his team of Louisville Slugger professional baseball representatives are glad to have Brian Hillerich joining them in MLB clubhouses and around the batting cages.

“Brian knows the bat business very well,” Schupp said. “He was born into it and has lived it his entire life.

“He knows baseball. He has an easy going personality.

“He knows good wood and what it takes to make a Major League player’s bat. He knows and understands the subtleties of ash and maple. He’s familiar with weights and balance. He’s run our pro bat line.”

Now Brian will take all of that personal knowledge and experience onto the ball field. He’ll also take along those 124 years of Hillerich family batmaking experience and tradition. It’s a tradition of customer service and making the best bats possible; bats used by players from Pete Browning to Babe Ruth, from Lou Gehrig to Hank Aaron, from Eddie Murray to Alex Rodriguez.

Together with Chuck Schupp, Brian Hillerich will make sure today’s MLB players get their Louisville Slugger bats exactly the way they want them just as players have for 124 years. Every time. Every order.

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