I saw this little ad on Facebook today, Louisville claiming it was the “#1 bat at the All Star Game… 80 years and counting.”
Being that I’ve personally researched just about every one of those dudes’ equipment choices, I wasn’t so sure about Slugger’s boastfulness, and I couldn’t just stand by and let them pull the veil over our eyes. Not on my watch!
So I went to work. I reviewed every single batter that stepped up to the plate that night, I tallied up the choices, and the results may surprise you.
In ascending order, here are the bats that were actually swung in the All Star Game, and the players that swung them (Disclaimer: This is not a list of what they’re swinging now, this is what they swung that night, so please hold your comments and trust me. I got this one right.):
Salvador Perez swung the first Zinger bat we’ve seen on WPW, and Tulo (profile) swung a Tucci.
Rawlings, Old Hickory (3)
Along with Hunter, Joe Mauer (profile) and Allen Craig swung the “Big Stick.” These guys are more of a dying breed. Not a lot of young guys swinging Rawlings if any.
Sam Bat (4)
Along with the Indians breakout 2B Jason Kipnis, CarGo (profile), Miggy (profile), and Jean Segura (profile) swung Sam Bat for the ASG. A strong showing for the company made famous by Barry Bonds more than a decade ago.
Louisville Slugger (11)
Louisville Slugger is clearly one of the most popular bats in the Bigs, there’s no doubting that; however, if you’re going to claim the #1 spot, check your facts. That night, Louisville Slugger was swung by Pedro Alvarez, Chris Davis (profile), David Wright (profile), Buster Posey (profile), Brandon Phillips (profile), Joey Votto (profile), Michael Cuddyer, Carlos Gomez, Nelson Cruz (profile), Adam Jones (profile), and Alex Gordon. Eleven guys. One less than…
The true #1 bat of the All Star Game, Marucci was swung by twelve guys that night, including Beltran (profile), McCutchen (profile), Matt Carpenter, Yadi Molina (profile), Dustin Pedroia (profile), Manny Machado (profile), Prince Fielder (profile), Jose Bautista (profile), David Ortiz (profile), Edwin Encarnacion, Jhonny Peralta, and JJ Hardy. Note: WPW reader Vic brought it to my attention that Encarnacion swung Louisville his first AB. I saw his 2nd AB in which he was swinging Marucci, and he’s been swinging Marucci for multiple seasons, so I credited Marucci. I still wanted to thank Vic for his input.
So there ya have it. Marucci takes the crown and Louisville’s self-proclaimed 80 year streak is snapped. What about previous seasons though? This was a good preliminary break-down, but I’d like to dig deeper into Louisville’s claims that they’ve been number one for 80 years running. I spoke with our resident bat historian, Rocky, about this, and he mentioned that Louisville might not have been number one for the last few years. We’re going to dig deeper into that one and get back to you (we did the research and its here).
This goes to show you that just because the MLB enterprise is pushing a product doesn’t mean that the masters of the game will blindly choose it. Its this exact situation that WPW exists: so you can see what the best athletes in the world are going to war with—without the marketing bullshit.