As the mother of a baseball lover, I’d promised my son a trip to the Louisville Slugger Museum over the school winter break. The official bat of Major League Baseball, Louisville Sluggers have sent more balls over the back fence than any other in the history of the game.
It didn’t disappoint. On the factory floor, we watch wooden maple billets once hand-carved by master craftsmen transform into bats within 30 seconds thanks to modern technology.
I. poses with Johnny Bench’s bat. A. looks down a 90 mph pitch in a simulation exhibit. F., our engineer, stands open-mouthed at the sanding station, fascinated by the mechanics of the computerized machines.
We all enjoy a 20-minute film titled The Heart of the Game. “I almost started to cry…twice,” my husband says.
I know what he means. After the film, I want it to be spring so I can sit in the bleachers at The Great American Ballpark and cheer on the Reds.
“I’m not discounting the fact that I didn’t sleep last night,” he adds.
After the tour, each visitor receives a mini wooden bat stamped with the Louisville Slugger logo on exiting the factory floor. Each of the boys walks out with one. I thank the man and absentmindedly take a bat.
In a house full of boys, small wooden bats double as weapons. Did I really think we needed a fourth?
Upon arriving home, I write a quick note and drop it in the mailbox of another baseball-loving boy who lives a few doors down.
I write, “Thought your slugger would like this.” I drop it in the mailbox and run home.