Almost every young baseball player in America dreams of being in the big leagues.
This weekend, local youngsters get a taste of that feeling when a Wood Bat Tournament will be played at Granbury City Park.
The tournament will feature competition in a variety of age divisions, beginning with 6-Under. Instead of using the composite and metal bats typically used in youth baseball, all teams will use strictly wooden bats throughout.
“There’s no better sound than a wood bat,” said Jared Stone, coach of the 6-Under Purple Pirates. “That’s baseball at its finest.”
Ryan St. Don, one of the directors of Brazos River Baseball, said wood bat tournaments are growing. For example, Tolar’s Rattlers host one every year for high school teams.
“I personally think the kids love the wood bat tournaments because of how they idolize professional baseball players. Every kids loves the chance to play like a major league baseball player.”
Tournament director Danny Guidry, also the head coach of the 8-Under Purple Pirates, said wood bat baseball represents the sport in its truest form.
“I am so glad that these type of tournaments exist now and young players have an opportunity to use wood bats,” he said.
“I think offensively it will separate the talent pool a little bit. Aluminum bat barrels are getting pretty big, and bad swing mechanics are somewhat camouflaged.”
Stone said wood bat baseball also revives “small ball,” or manufacturing runs through base hits compared to home runs.
“Everybody’s geared up to see the home run, but wood bat tournaments get back to the roots,” Stone said.
There is also quite a defensive difference. Plus, wood bats are just plain safer, said Guidry.
“Defensively, I think it will be a welcomed break for the players,” he said. “Last week, a player on a team we were playing took a line shot off his knee cap … and I thought this boy was in deep trouble.
“Luckily he was all right, but it could have been so much worse. Aluminum bats are dangerous.”
While youth teams will continue to use aluminum bats in most competitions, this weekend will be a welcome change, Stone added.
“This weekend they can play just like a pro,” he said.
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Category: Sports Archived