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This page was last updated on: 07/18/2010

Rawlings sees labeling changes for 2003

Archived Articles

1. Grading Bats

2. Assessing Use

 

Part of what makes the bat collecting hobby so interesting is the ability to date bats based labeling and to observe the continuing evolution of labeling.  So far this year there are two changes that I am aware of.  The first is with Rawlings bats.  Rawlings has changed two things in terms of labeling, both on the barrel.  Since the mid 90s, Rawlings has been stamping the player’s team name directly below the player’s name on the barrel of the bat.  This year they have discontinued that practice choosing instead to stamp all bats with “ - PRO - ” below the player’s names (see picture at top).  It is still very easy to distinguish Rawlings gamers because they have the model number, batch number and year stamped on the knob.   Another modest change has occurred the stamping directly above the player’s name on the barrel.    Instead of the heavy black font that they have used in the past for the words BIG STICK, the stamping is now thin, only outlining the letters (see picture at top). 

 

The other change is occurred to Louisville Slugger bats.  Although this is not a consistent change, many players have been requesting that their team name not be stamped on the barrel.  Truth be told, I am not sure if this a request of something that LS is going to midway through he season but there have been instances of both versions, both with and without team name below the players name on the barrel.  In the instances where the team’s name is absent, it has been replaced with “LOUISVILLE SLUGGER ® ” similar to 86-89 era LS bats.    For novice collectors, this change may cause some confusion in terms of determining whether or not a bat is actually a professional bat or not.  For experienced collectors it really should not be an issue.  For sometime, Louisville Slugger has been using the LOUISVILLE SLUGGER stamping in place of a team name for minor league players.  In the past, when wee have seen bats with LOUISVILLE SLUGGER in place of the team name it was commonly accepted that these bats are minor league or “pre-rookie” bats that player have used in the minors and, perhaps, used as late season call-ups.  I believe that the change is upon request by the player only because it still appears that the vast majority of major league bats have the players team name on the barrel so be prepared to see example of both this year.

 

The only other note worthy event in terms of bat collecting has been emergence of X bats.  X bats have been around for a couple years but it appears those players are using them with increased frequency this year.  As an example, there are several Twins players that I am aware use X bats on a regular basis including Doug Mientkiewicz, Christian Guzman and Michael Cuddyer to name a few.   The days of only four bat companies have come to an end.  In the 80s Worth, Mizuno and Cooper bats emerged but just in the past couple years there have been several new kinds of bats including Sam Bats, Stick by Stan, X Bat, Hoosier, Carolina Clubs, and Old Hickory to name the most common.  With some of the newer bats, labeling is still unclear as are their practice for distributing major league bats opposed to bats to the general public so pay special attention to use characteristics in determining the legitimacy of any brand bat that you are not familiar with. 

 

If anyone is aware of any other labeling changes of would like to add some commentary regarding the hobby please feel free to email me.

 

 

 

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