WPW Throwbacks: Barry Bonds’ Sam Bat 2K1, the Bat that Changed the Game

Source: Rob Tringali, ESPN

Source: Rob Tringali, ESPN

It wasn’t the first maple bat used in major league baseball, but it is the most important.  Barry Bonds’ 2K1 from Sam Bat, for better or worse, ushered in the most radical change to the game of baseball since the introduction of the aluminum bat.

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In hitting, business and life, timing is everything, and in 2001, Barry Bonds decision to use the 2K1 (originally called the B1), eschewing the ash bats that dominated the game at the time in favor of sugar maple bats, produced by Sam Holman in his small workshop, opened the door to new wood species and a large number of new manufacturers producing approved bats for MLB (28 in 2013, and the number is increasing in 2014)

Bonds’ bat, at 34 inches, and weighing around 32 ounces was based loosely on the C331 Louisville Slugger model that was originally turned for Carl Crawford. While Bonds was willing to pay up to $500 each to make sure he could continue to use his Rideau Crusher in 2007, similar models are now offered by dozens of companies around the world.

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Aside from its obvious impact(s), the 2K1, because of what is now known as the 73 knob, caused an entire generation of hitters to learn about, and discuss the hamate bone, a tiny bone in the wrist that has caused more pound-for-pound DL trips than any other bone. The innovation of the 73 knob is leading other bat makers in new directions as they attempt to reach new customers and prevent costly injuries, although it is still to be seen if these will ever catch on with major league players.

4 comments

  1. The B1 and 2K1 have different knobs. The knob on the B1 is much smaller. Bonds used both models, but switched from the B1 to larger knob 2k1

  2. The knob on Barry’s bat was kind of irrelevant because he choked up about an inch and a half. I don’t think Barry ever had a hamate bone issue. I may be wrong on that.

  3. It’s too bad his critics point so much at Barry’s steroid use and so little at his innovative bat…..Even as an old man, I felt difference between the maple bat versus the white ash bat.

  4. i 100% agree that the bat he used was more iimpactful than the steroids

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