A number of sports in the world are distinct due the gear used to play them, such as the racquets and nets in tennis, basketball hoops, and golf clubs. And of course, there’s also baseball and softball, which are wildly popular in North America and Japan. Baseball players, pros and amateurs alike, will want the best equipment for a good game, from leather catcher’s mitts to baseball bats and cleated shoes and the right helmets. Any wooden or metal baseball bat off the shelf is ready for use, but doctored bats, such as shaved bats or rolled bats for sale, appeal to some buyers, too. Local baseball bat shaving and rolling companies can modify a client’s bat on request, and players can find rolled and shaved bats online from secondary sellers, if they so choose. Now, why might someone use shaved bats or rolled wooden ones? How are they made?
Modifying Wooden Baseball Bats
By tradition, baseball bats are made of ash wood, and this trend continues to this day. Better yet, wooden baseball and softball bats can get broken in with use, and their performance improves. As a wooden bat strikes baseballs or softballs, its natural wooden fibers get bent and broken, and after a point, the bat is fully broken in and can strike balls further than normal. A player may have a few prized broken-in bats in their collection, but they may not like risking damaging them during practice sessions. So, rolled bat can be used instead.
A wooden baseball bat, once it’s taken to a rolling service, will be passed through a series of pressurized rollers that rapidly bend and break the fibers. This simulates the natural breaking-in process, but much faster, and a rolled bat will have a similar performance as a naturally broken-in bat. Care should be taken when rolling bats, though, so they don’t get cracked or damaged during the doctoring process. Rolled wooden bats can be used as expendable substitutes during practice sessions to protect the prized bats, and rolled bats are a great option for casual games, where league rules are not enforced. But they shouldn’t be used in sanctioned games, where they are forbidden and experts on the field can identify them on sight.
Shaving Metal Bats
Bat rolling is done for wooden ash bats, but what about shaved bats? Many softball bats today are made of metal, and they are hollow and have padding on the inside to reinforce them for the rigors of gameplay. Metal bats can also be doctored, but they do not have wooden fibers to roll and break. Instead, the solution is to buy or make shaved bats, and many bat rolling services also offer bat shaving services as well. And as with rolled bats, an interested customer can find some shaved bats online via secondary sellers if no local services can help.
A metal bat will have its end cap removed, thus exposing the hollow interior, and the bat is placed on a lathe table and slowly fed to a rotating grinder for shaving. This grinder will then scrape off a few ounces of the bat’s inner padding, and once that is done, the bat is removed and its end cap is put back on. Of course, care should be taken so the grinder does not remove to much material, or else the bat will become too fragile and it may shatter during gameplay due to missing padding. For thee same reason, no padding at all should be removed from the metal bat’s handle.
Once a proper shaving job is done, the modified metal bat will be more flexible than normal, and it can strike baseballs and softballs further than normal. This makes shaved bats popular for casual games, but like rolled wooden bats, they are not allowed at sanctioned games and league events. Also, take note that shaved bats suffer poor performance in temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, so they are best used in warm weather, or perhaps indoors for casual games.