Saturday, June 26, 2010

Books and Bats (Sluggers, that is!)

Looking through a Window, Darkly?

One of the most touristy places in all of Louisville is the Louisville Slugger factory. This showroom, museum, factory, and gift/book shop are all held under one roof. It is located on Main Street along with the SAR Research Library, the Frazier International History Museum, and many other fine stores and coffee shops. I took the tour of the factory, which was rather impressive, and which pumps out a brand new Louisville slugger (bat) every few seconds. Blocks of wood go through an automated process--nearly everything is driven by fancy computer systems, replicating the exact details of bat design, which are formed by templates. The wood blocks used to be carved out by hand on rotating platforms, and would take the better part of an hour. Now the computers control the details and spit them down conveyer belts in seconds.

Here's a link to the museum:

A few books can be seen in the gift and book shop here.

Inside the museum and gallery were other examples of "books." This one above was a display, but made in book-form. And below is an exhibit at the entrance of the tour in the factory. We were not allowed to photograph the factory or its processess, but this display gives an idea of the work behind the Louisville slugger.

And, of course, no baseball museum would be complete without a wax statue of Babe Ruth!

Unmistakable. That's the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. You can't miss the darn place, when you walk through downtown. It has a signiture bat that stands taller than the building itself, the world's largest bat! So, if you're ever in Louisville, and you want to find some books on baseball, or just see how the sluggers are made, "swing" by. You'll even get a "free" mini-bat at the end of your tour. Just remember to check it in your luggage. Airlines consider it a weapon and the Louisville airport has a container full of confiscated mini-bats from the musuem. Better off carrying a book. It's a less obvious weapon.

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