Baseball is a game of superstitions and statistics. Those superstitions can cause baseball players to turn to some unusual behavior. Some players smear their helmets and baseball bats with pine tar. Others will give their bats unusual names, some have worn the same underwear for an entire winning streak, and some will only eat at one restaurant - having the same meal - before every game. While these superstitions do not do anything to the game of baseball, there are some that do. If some hitters were experiencing problems at the plate, some would turn to unethical procedures, not their superstitions. One of the most unethical things that some players would do is cork their bats.
Steps to Improve the Game
At M^Powered, we believe in the wooden bat and its true power. We believe in it so much that we chose a phone number that shows this! For as long as baseball has been player, players have tried to improve their games through any means necessary. Now, we see players using performance enhancing drugs; but in the past, the corked bat was king. When players would cork their bats, they thought they would have an advantage by using a lighter bat. A lighter bat is easier and faster to swing, which would supposedly send the ball farther.
How to Cork a Bat (Don’t Try This at Home)
To cork a bat, a player had to drill at the far end of the bat, hollow it out, and add wine corks. Some even filled their bats with small rubber bouncy balls. They would drill all the way to the sweet spot of the bat. To hide the attempt at cheating, players refilled the drilled hole with pine tar mixed with sawdust. The bat was the same length, but lighter in weight. The cork or bouncy balls would create a trampoline effect that would help send the ball into home-run territory.
Since the game of baseball is also about statistics, the tiny weight difference, about 1.5 ounces was supposed to make a difference. Keep in mind that the pitch moves from the hand to the plate in less than a second. The lighter bat gives the hitter a fraction of a second more time to complete the swing.
Corking Proven to Not Help with Homeruns
While the practice is illegal in the game of baseball, does it really create an edge for a hitter? The latest physics research says that it does not. The mass of the bat and the quickness of the swing does not improve the chance of hitting a homerun. The hitter might hit the ball more frequently and improve his batting average, but the mass of the bat will keep the ball from traveling far and away. There is a simple equation, p=mv, that is used to measure the distance that a ball travels. Momentum is the solution (p) and mass and velocity (mv) are the multipliers. This simple equation shows that all ball hit with a lighter bat (less mass) will not have as much momentum. This means that a corked bat is not a helpful tool for a power hitter.
Famous Hitters and Their Corked Bats
Some of the most famous power hitters in baseball have been accused of using cork bats. Sammy Sosa, Pete Rose, and our favorite - Mickey Mantle have all used corked bats. Some of these bats have sold at auction, but before being sold, they were x-rayed to prove if they were corked or not. In many cases, the corked bats sell for more than the untainted bats. Officials can detected corked bats through x-rays and the bats are more likely to splinter than non-corked bats, since the integrity of the wood has been compromised.
Bat corking is an interesting part of baseball history, but you will not find any corked bats for sale at M^Powered. Our wooden bats are only made of solid wood so you can swing with integrity and your own power.
If you have any questions, please contact us through our email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone: 1-877-NO-CORKS (or 1-877-662-6757) Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM PST. We also provide baseball gloves, protective gear for catchers and umpires, and many other baseball-related training items and accessories.