One Dirt Dog’s Reward

The 2008 All-Star Edition of The Best Players in Babe Ruth League is now published and available for distribution. Just the thing to warm up the middle of winter!

Each season the Babe Ruth League selects its most outstanding baseball and softball players who represented their local leagues in District, State and Regional tournament competition leading up to the Cal Ripken World Series. These players are profiled with their statistics, teams and league affiliations which becomes a permanent part of the library collections at the Babe Ruth and National Baseball Halls of Fame.

I’m very proud to say that my son Matt’s name is among those honored this year. What a thrill to see him represented among the best Babe Ruth baseball players in the country.

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Choosing the Right Bat by Rob Murray

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BAT

Choosing the right bat is a tough decision and one that should only be made by the person who is going to swing it. Players spend countless hours deciding which bat they will take to the plate with them during their next at-bat. Just like everything else in baseball, having the right bat is all mental. If the bat doesn’t feel right, you might as well stay on the bench, because that’s where you will be heading anyways. You must have confidence that the bat you chose is the right tool for the job. Whether you are facing a 90 mile an hour fast ball or a 50 mile an hour fast ball every advantage is needed in order to succeed.

“THE ONE” JUST FEELS SO RIGHT…

What should you look for when choosing the right bat? It’s pretty simple. Find a bat that you like and it’s with in your size range. If the bat feels uncomfortable after about 5-10 swings get rid of it. It’s not the one for you. You could pick up (4) bats (either aluminum or wood) of the same size and model, each bat will feel different. I can’t explain it; it’s just the way it is. You have to search through those bats to find “THE ONE.” Over the years I have had a variety of different bats. I was never one to stick to a particular make (ex. Easton, Louisville, Rawlings, etc.). At times I wanted a thinner handled bat. So I would take the leather grip off the metal bat and replace it with athletic tape. Other times I wanted a thicker handle so I would add tape to the bat handle to make it thicker. With wood bats I was the same way. I used every model possible. Trying to find the one I liked the best (243, R161, 271, 110, etc….). I used bats with “cupped” ends, I used bats with flared handles, small knobs, big barrels, just trying to find “THE ONE.” I even used a white Louisville Slugger TPX in college my senior year, because I believed that the opposing players would have a hard time seeing the white ball coming off a white bat……I WAS WRONG!!!! There are so many baseball bats to choose from nowadays it can get very confusing.

DON’T BE FOOLED BY PRICE

Pricing is also a major concern. I have a hard time believing that somebody would go out and purchase an aluminum baseball bat for $370?? For that price, the bat should take its self out of the rack, walk up to the plate and get a hit on its own. Who cares that you bought the latest model of the Easton Stealth bat. The 2009 model isn’t any better than the 2007 model, except it’s about $150 more. So remember, choosing the right bat is all about “feel.” Check high and low, tryout different models and different makes until you find “THE ONE.”

If you have any questions regarding specific bat brands or models, please feel free to ask by sending in a comment. Also, if you have any additional questions on how to choose the right bat, please ask. Play Ball & Good Luck!

About The Author:
A former professional baseball player, Rob Murray operates The Hit Barn, a 4-season baseball training facility in the Greater Boston area where he works individually as a pitching and hitting coach with players of different ages ranging from 11-16 years old. Visit The Hit Barn Blog under DirtDog Sports Links or here at http://hitbarn.wordpress.com

A 3-time Dual County League High School All-Star, Rob played for Ithaca College in the 1993 and 1994 NCAA Division III World Series. After college Rob played professionally for the Richmond Roosters (Frontier League) and the Bangor Blue Ox (Northeast League). Rob continues to actively play baseball in an Over-30 Baseball League in Lowell.

O Captain, My Captain!

Jason Varitek, Captain (Boston Globe photo)

Jason Varitek, Captain (Boston Globe photo)

Congratulations to Jason Varitek and the Red Sox for coming to terms! NOW we can get back to the business of winning baseball games. Soon Pitchers and The Captain report.