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At one time, baseball bats were all manufactured out of some type of hard wood. This is no longer the case. Today, there are actually several different types of baseball bats in common use. The types of baseball bats often vary based on division and league specifications that govern the equipment that is considered the standard for all teams associated with a given league and the divisions that make up the league. This means that different types of baseball bats will be in common use in a minor or amateur league that would not be present in a major league.
In spite of the proliferation of differences in the bats used today, the old fashioned wooden baseball bat still tends to be the most common of all types. At one time, hickory bats were the most common type of baseball bat. While providing a great deal of durability, hickory bats are also among the heaviest bats ever produced.
Currently, white ash is often the wood of choice for these types of baseball bats, since the wood is sturdy and resists cracking under pressure. White ash also produces a bat that is light enough to allow the batter to achieve a swing of adequate speed and force, but not so light that it makes hitting a baseball out of the park a task of no real import. Along with white ash bats, maple are also a popular option, although the maple bat tends to cost a little more than bats manufactured of white ash.
The aluminum baseball bat is of more recent vintage than wooden bats. First produced in the 1970’s, aluminum bats quickly gained supporters. This was mainly due to the fact that these types of baseball bats are lightweight, but also extremely durable. In the early years, it soon became apparent that the aluminum bat made it very easy to hit the ball great distances. The major leagues discontinued the use of the aluminum bat, mainly in order to prevent rendering previous records set with the heavier wooden bats irrelevant. However, some amateur and minor leagues allow the aluminum bat, although the usage is not universal by any means.
Other designs for types of baseball bats have appeared over the years. The so-called Baum Bat of the early 1990’s attempted to create a transition bat that would help a minor league player who is picked for a major league team to make the transition from lighter bats to a heavier wooden bat. A few companies have produced and attempted to market a bat made from billets of bamboo. However, bats composed of various of hardwoods continue to be the types of baseball bats favored by the majority of players across the board.