Hillerich & Bradsby Co., better known as Louisville Slugger, got its start back in 1884. It began when a furniture maker’s son, Bud Hillerich, used the furniture shop to make a custom bat for professional baseball player, Pete Browning. Two decades later Louisville Slugger signed the first athlete to endorse a bat, Honus Wagner and the rest is history. Today Louisville Sluggers are used in every line up in the major leagues.
They use Northern White Ash grown in their Pennsylvania and New York forests. Each year 40,000 Northern White Ash trees provide the timber for the 6,000-10,000 bats produced at the factory every day. That equals 8 million bats a year. The factory mixes tradition with technology, where old school craft meets modern CNC machine. The CNC machine used to make the major league bats is the only one of its kind in the world. From there the MLB bats have the iconic Louisville Slugger logo branded into the White Ash like they have since the beginning. As you proceed through the factory you see a bat go from billet to a finished stained product, ready for use.
Be sure to make time, before or after the tour, to check out the museum and gift shop, where you can have your own custom bat made with your name and favorite MLB team logo.