Baseball traditionalists and old timers were happy to see and hear wooden bats used, instead of aluminum, during this summer’s Northern Virginia College League games.
For the first time in the league’s three-year summer existence, all of the players for the six teams used wooden bats. Aluminum bats were used the past two campaigns.
Traditional sounds of wooden bats making contact with the baseball were enjoyed by spectators. Same with the sound wooden bats make when they are piled together and bump against others, or when a bat sometimes breaks, cracks, splinters or shatters when making contact with the ball.
All of those sounds are far different with aluminum bats, which are more like pings when hitting the ball. Plus, aluminum bats rarely break and they don’t shatter or splinter.
Players and coaches, many from the Sun Gazette’s various coverage areas, were pleased with the quality of how the Old Hickory-model maple wooden bats held up.
“Everyone was all in on us using wood this summer. and they loved it,” said Rob Hahne, one who is in charge of running the league. “We hope to keep using them in the future.”
Capital One was a sponsor and paid for the month-long league’s 210 wooden bats. Each team was given some 35 bats, or two per player. Some players purchased their own bats, as well.
“We’d discussed using wood in the past, but the cost was too much,” Hahne said. “Bats did break, but we didn’t have to reorder more.”
Hahne said that baseball players from youth leagues to college age don’t get to use wooden bats very often, and generally enjoy the experience if they have that opportunity. Hahne has used wooden bats for 11 years in the annual Memorial Day-weekend Kyle’s Kamp Tournament he started in 2011.