Why You Might Shave or Roll a Baseball Bat


Most sports in the world today involve using the right equipment to play, ranging from balls and helmets all the way to hockey sticks to basketball hoops to baseball bats. Baseball is a widely popular sport in the United States, Canada, and Japan in particular, and this sport is distinctive with its small white ball, wooden or metal baseball bats, and large leather catcher’s mitts. A baseball player will be heavily invested in the performance and quality of their baseball bat, and the bat’s nature may make all the difference. For this reason, shaving a softball bat is sometimes done, not to mention rolled baseball bats. These rolled and shaved baseball bats are intentionally modified to alter their performance, and this may be useful for casual games or for practice. Bat rolling and shaving is forbidden for professional games, however. Shaving a softball bat is best done for practice or casual games only, but if done right, shaving a softball bat can yield some impressive results.

Shaving A Softball Bat

What does shaving a softball bat entail? These bats may be made of either metal or wood, most commonly ash wood. If a bat is made of metal, it will have a lightweight metal body and stuffing inside to make for a complete bat. Such metals bats are widely available from sports supply stores across the United States, but some softball bat users would rather enhance the performance of these bats to strike a ball farther. Shaving a softball bat is the way to do this. The person shaving a baseball bat should be careful, however, since shaved bats are forbidden from use during sanctioned games, and shaving the bat incorrectly may damage it.

To shave the bat, the owner will place the bat on a lathe table and open its metal end cap to reveal the hollow interior. A grinder surface will shave away material found inside the baseball bat’s exposed hollow interior, usually a few ounces’ worth at most. Doing this will alter the bat’s performance and allow it to strike a baseball further, which is typically the desired end result. Caution should be taken, however. Shaving away too much material, or shaving material from the bat’s handle, may make the bat fragile and it might even shatter when used during a game. What is more, a shaved bat will have its warranty voided, so the owner mus be prepared for that.

Bat Rolling

Another means of modifying a baseball bat is to roll it, and this is most often done on wooden baseball bats. It may be noted that like with bat shaving, bat rolling is recommended only for practice or casual games, and rolled bats are forbidden from use in sanctioned games. A rolled bat will have a distinct appearance, so players will probably not get away with using them. Rolled bats will have their warranties voided as well.

There are reasons to do this, however. A wooden baseball bat’s fibers naturally stretch out and flex as the at is used, and this enhances its performance. After a few hundred ball strikes, a wooden baseball bat may reach its optimal performance. Some bat owners, however, can choose to artificially accelerate this process and have the bat rolled for a similar effect. The bat may be subjected to a number of sessions in mechanical rollers, taking care not to apply too much pressure and damage the bat. But if done correctly, bat rolling will allow even a newly-purchased and never-used wooden bat to perform at peak capacity, which may be great for casual games or practice sessions. A rolled bat may be used as a stand-in for someone’s naturally broken-in wooden base ball bat, where they’d rather not risk damaging the natural bat during practice. Instead, the athlete may buy a new wooden bat, roll it, and use it as a replica (of sorts) of the other bat to keep their performance consistent. But the player should be careful to not accidentally use that rolled bat in a sanction game, or else they might face some penalties.

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