In this Thursday, March 28, 2013 photo, Louisville Slugger baseball bats are shown, in Louisville, Ky. Louisville Slugger is rolling out a new logo for the first time in 33 years on a new bat that company officials say is designed to be the hardest wooden bat ever produced at the Louisville, Ky., factory. The new logo and bat will debut on Opening Day games in Major League Baseball. (AP Photo/Brett Barrouquere)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The familiar smell of hot dogs and freshly cut grass on Major League Baseball’s Opening Day will be complemented by changes to the iconic Louisville Slugger bat, which is now made with firmer wood and stamped with a new logo.
The 129-year-old manufacturer hopes the harder bat, which is less likely to splinter, and more modern logo will help the family-owned company stay relevant in the sporting good supply market and ahead of competitors in luring younger ballplayers to its products.
The new logo is the first such change since the company dropped the “Hillerich & Bradsby” name from the center of its oval design and replaced it with “Louisville Slugger” in 1980. And the new bats, which are made from a high-grade wood and processed to enhance the surface’s hardness, are the biggest change in the hardware since the introduction of cup-ended bats in 1972.
“You have to ask yourself, Do you really Login to read more