Why You Might Shave or Roll Baseball Bats


Many particular sports are beloved around the world, and many popular American, Canadian, and European games can be found on televisions anywhere, such as soccer, baseball, basketball, cricket, and more. Meanwhile, the players and athletes need the right gear for the job, such as a tennis player’s racquets and net or an American football player’s helmet, gloves, and shoulder pads. Baseball, meanwhile, is known around the world for its wooden and metal bats, oversized leather catcher’s mitts, and small white balls, all used on a diamond playing field. Amateur or casual players and pros alike needs bats and mitts for this game, and any sports store is bound to have plenty of bats, balls, and mitts on hand, too. Baseball has also inspired popular variants such as softball, fastpitch, slowpitch, and more.

Anyone can buy a metal or wooden baseball bat, and for most purposes, that is enough. But some players choose to make use of shaved bats or rolled bats, and they can either buy those shaved bats or take them to a shaving service for modification. Doctored bats often offer enhanced performance, to say the least. How can someone make rolled and shaved bats a reality?

Making Shaved Bats

Baseball bats come in two main types: either metal, or wood, typically ash wood. Players like to use both kinds, but for doctoring purposes, metal and wooden bats are subjected to different processes. When it comes to metal bats, shaving can be done. A metal bat is hollow inside, and it will have some padded material inside for flexibility and endurance. Shaving a bat means the staff at a shaving service will first remove the baseball bat’s metal end cap, then place the bat on a lathe table. A lathe table features an assembly to hold the bat in place, and it can be moved toward a grinder surface. Lathe tables are often used in machine shops to remove metal burrs from items, but they can be used like this, too.

The lathe’s grinder will shave off a few ounces of material inside the baseball bat, and care should be taken so that not too much material is shaved away. Otherwise, the bat will become too fragile to use, and may shatter in a game. And material should not be removed from the handle either, or it becomes too fragile for a game. When this is done, the end cap is put back on, and the bat may offer its player enhanced performance. That is, it can strike balls further due to its enhanced flexibility. This is not allowed for sanctioned games, though, so shaved bats are best used for either practice sessions or for casual games. Players should also be sure to not use them in temperatures lower than 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rolling a Baseball Bat

Meanwhile, wooden baseball bats do not have a hollow interior like metal ones do, but they can be modified in other ways to boost their performance. Wooden bats, being made of natural wood, have many fibers in them, and those fibers may bend and break as that bat is used in games. This breaks in a fresh wooden bat, and after a few hundred strikes or so, that bat has been sufficiently broken in so it is more flexible and can strike balls further. This is much to be desired, and players may have one or a few prized, broken-in wooden bats.

This broken-in status can be artificially induced, however, with the help of bat rolling services. In this case, the wooden bat is sent through rollers that bend and stress the bat enough to break its fibers, resulting in a high-performance bat. Like shaved bats, rolled bats are not legal for official baseball games, and experts out on the field may be able to identify a rolled bat by sight. Instead, rolled bats can be used for practice sessions and casual games. They can serve as stand-ins for a player’s prized wooden bats during practice, so the player can simulate those prized bats’ performance with a proxy without risking breaking the real bat during practice. Bats are tough, but they have been known to break, so a rolled bat may serve as an expendable proxy for practice sessions.

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