I’ve written several times about the Kentucky connection to the World Series in the form of Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton, but that’s not the only Bluegrass connection to the series. As columnist Eric Crawford of the Louisville Courier Journal reports, the Louisville Slugger Factory was busy Monday morning printing the commemorative New York Yankees bats for the World Series. The Phillies’ bats were finished last week, but weather and a Los Angeles Angels win pushed the Yankees’ series-clinching victory back to Sunday.
Eight Yankees position players will used Louisville Slugger bats during the series, while just five Phillies will. The company’s stranglehold on the bat market isn’t what it once was, but it still provides 60 percent of bats to Major League Baseball. Each Yankees pitcher gets two bats while position players with a bat contract get three to start the series. Every player, front-office worker, coach and even clubhouse attendant gets a commemorative bat. (Read more)
Crawford closes with this excellent summary of Kentucky’s most important role in baseball:
“As workers hustled to put finish on the bats — some are painted black, others are run through a flame to bring out the grain, and all are branded or decaled — company spokesman Rick Redman noted that even as they were waiting to see whether their bats would be shipped to New York or Los Angeles, everyone in this building knew Louisville would be in the World Series. It always is.”