It’s a brand new ballgame for the Louisville Slugger

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Going, going, gone

The famous bats that Babe (Ruth) and Lou (Gehrig) used to knock it out of the park have been reassigned.

The Louisville Slugger bat, the official wooden-bat maker of Major League Baseball (MLB), has contracts with more than half the league’s hitters and baseball legends. It has sold the brand to Wilson Sporting Goods. The family-owned Hillerich & Bradsby (H & B) company has been manufacturing the iconic bat for more than 130 years, churning out 100+ million bats in its history.

The bottom dropped out

The company has been struggling financially through a series of expansion missteps. Outsourced manufacturing to China resulted in a bat-recall in 2012. In the end, Hillerich & Bradsby’s self-confessed inability to adapt with the times caused the strike out.

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Crawling back into the game

At this time, the Louisville Slugger will still be manufactured in Kentucky of northern white ash or maple from New York and Pennsylvania trees emblazoned with the nostalgic logo.

Rawlings, at this writing, is still the official baseball of MLB, and has been since 1977. Will Wilson soon own the set?

While H & B bunted and with many traditions retired, we prepare to start the 2015 baseball season with lots of new things in place. It is a brand new ballgame for sure.

Let’s play ball.

Photo: Associated Press / 1937, Lou Gehrig hits with his Louisville Slugger

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