Archive Monthly Archives: January 2018

Ash baseball bats endangered by insects, rise of maple

January 18, 2018

 The bats Ted Williams demanded, with their 25 growth rings per inch, came from the Allegheny Mountain forests that unfurl in all directions from this flyspeck Warren County town. So did the wide-grain models Pete Rose preferred and Dick Allen's 40-inch, 40-ounce wagon tongues.

This vast and remote region, straddling Route 6 along the Pennsylvania-New York border, has long been the mother lode of best youth baseball bats. For a century or more, nearly all those used by major-league hitters came from the white ash that grows and is milled in this bat belt.

Rolling terrain, moist soil, and temperate climate created a variety of ash trees whose weight, density, and flexibility were ideal for bats.

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