Louisville Slugger Museum

One of our favorite cities on this tour was Louisville.  The art inspiration there is amazing.  However, a trip would not be complete without a trip to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.  Yes, and FACTORY!  They take you on tours of the entire building showing you all that goes into making a bat.  Cade recently started Tball, so he was very excited to go here.  In the museum you can take lots of pictures, and they have baseball memorabilia but in the factories—you can’t photo.

The museum has the original bat used by Pete Browning (THE Louisville Slugger) on display.  This is, and always has been a family run business.  With technology, of course, the bats are made in fractions of seconds, versus the painstaking hand work that went into a bat of this time.  We think it is cool that if you see a bat being used with a signature burned into it, that player has a contract with slugger, and uses that bat exclusively.  If it is typeset, the batter uses sluggers, and others!!

They make 80% of their bats out of ash.  Above you can see how they core the tree to gather the best parts to make the bats.  The rest of the trees are completely recycled, and used in parks around Louisville.  The trees, however, are actually grown and planted in PA and NY.  There were lots of famous bats, and the kids even got to hold bats that were used by Cal Ripken, and Mickey Mantle!

Audrey holding Cal’s bat—had camera issues that day, so indoor photos are not good at all!  >:{

Cade with his first bat. 

This entire sculpture (above) was carved from one block of 450 million year old Kentucky limestone!

Louisville is a city I could live in.  Art abounds.  Even on the street where sculptures are everywhere and even used as bike racks!  Tree stands have images cast in steel for nearby businesses, and red penguins stand guard at my favorite museum.  Clean, quiet and full of fun, Louisville is a great destination!

There were no photos in the actual factory tour, but the tour was really great and interesting.  Of course now many of the bats are formed by a computer driven system, but they are still dip stained by hand!  They have two levels of bats, one is a standard bat, and the other is the professional series.  They told a story of a batter who actually could tell his bat was ’off’ and after much searching they found the handle was 5/1000th of an inch off!