Since today’s post is about baseball, and baseball is all about statistics, how about we take a look at some baseball trivia to get warmed up for our road trip destination?

Did you know that the average Major League player uses 120 bats a year? Outfielder Al “Bucketfoot” Simmons used the longest bat — at 38 inches — of any Major Leaguer in history. Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, swung the heaviest — 54 ounces, at one point in his career.

The piece of lumber swung by the “Sultan of Swat” himself – Babe Ruth!
Image: Brookswiki – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

As you might guess by his name, “Wee” Willie Keeler had the shortest bat at 30-and-a-half inches. Of course, Wee Willie himself was one of the smallest players to ever play the game, standing at just five feet and four inches and weighing only 140 pounds — so his bat was probably just about the right size.

This all brings us to the largest bat in the world which, as you might expect, is located at a great road trip stop — the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory in Louisville, KY.

Batting Around History

The first Louisville Slugger was made in July 1884 in a shop located on Louisville’s South First Street and owned by J. A. “Bud” Hillerich. The day before, Bud attended a baseball game where the Louisville Eclipse’s star center fielder, Pete Browning, broke his bat. As a result, Bud invited the outfielder to his shop and made a bat for him. The next day, Browning got three hits with that bat, and the “Louisville Slugger” brand was born.

Louisville Slugger had a number of factories through the years — at South Preston and Finzer Streets from 1901 to 1974; at Slugger Park across the river in Jeffersonville, IN, from 1974 to 1996; and after that, John A. “Jack” Hillerich III moved the company back to Louisville and created a place for the public to connect with the Louisville Slugger legend. That place, an old tobacco warehouse located at 8th and Main Streets, is now the site of the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.

The Exhibits Are a Home Run

You’re greeted outside of the museum by the World’s Largest Baseball Bat, which measures a Bunyan-esque 120 feet tall. It’s an exact scale replica of the 34-inch Louisville Slugger used by Babe Ruth. Inside the museum is a wide array of exhibits, including the Signature Wall displaying signatures of every Louisville Slugger contract player. You can also hold the actual bats used in real games by Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle and Johnny Bench, and see what it’s like to have a 90-MPH fastball coming right into your batting zone.

Be sure to check out the Signature Wall containing all the signatures of major league players who’ve owned a Louisville Slugger.
Image: Dedecorti – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

In the statue gallery, you can take selfies with some of your favorite “boys of summer” including Ruth, Ted Williams, Derek Jeter and Jackie Robinson. Finally, you can see how each Louisville Slugger is branded — and even order a personalized bat of your own from the museum’s gift shop.

Finish With a Grand Slam of a Tour

The factory tour takes you step-by-step (six of them, to be exact) through the process of what goes into making the famous Louisville Slugger. Louisville Slugger makes 1.8 million bats a year. Their peak season is, of course, during spring training when they make up to 5,000 bats a day. Visitors to the museum get to take home their very own mini-bat at the end of the tour.

Every year in May the factory makes pink bats for NLB players to use on Mother’s Day and to raise awareness about breast cancer.
Image: Fuchs nick – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is located on Louisville’s Museum Row at 800 W. Main Street. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $16 for adults, $15 for seniors over 60, and $9 for kids ages 6 through12. Kids ages 5 and under are admitted free.

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While you’re out and about this summer, don’t forget to make a Stuckey’s stop part of your ultimate road trip itinerary. Every Stuckey’s location has all of the road trip snacks you’ll need, including our world-famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll and mouthwatering flavored pecans and popcorn. And don’t forget — from rubber alligators to our retro branded t-shirts, caps and mugs — Stuckey’s is still the stop for all of the kitschy souvenirs and other Stuckey’s merchandise you remember us for. Visit stuckeys.com.

Even Joe DiMaggio was known to make a Stuckey’s stop once in awhile. Here he is giving hitting advice to the Stuckey’s Little League team “The Candymakers.”
Image: Stuckey’s Corp.

 Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!