taurus woman dating - Adirondack rawlings bat dating guide

Known as Adirondack "Big Sticks," every bat had a distinctive "pro ring" near the label. The major league bats are no longer called "Big Sticks," and Rawlings made a corporate decision this year to get rid of the ring.That doesn't sit well with Bruce Lyon, 72, a retired letter carrier and former milkman who's the mayor of Dolgeville.

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Before aluminum bats, before machines that can do with precision what once was done by hand, there was a time when more than 200 people worked at the factory -- about three times the number working there now.

Yet in an era when so many legendary Upstate industries have closed, they're still making big league-quality bats on Mc Kinley Avenue.

Recently, Vander Groef joined with production supervisor -- and fellow ESF graduate -- Pat Hoffa and sawmill manager Robert Johnson to lead a tour of the operation, from start to finish: The trees -- ash, maple and birch -- come to the sawmill as logs, still carrying bark. The best are cut into billets and sent to a kiln and a drying process that takes 30 to 40 days.

Once in the plant, the billets are graded for the quality that goes into big league bats.

It's only when you walk inside that you realize what's been made there: Baseball history.

Like Bobby Thomson's home run to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers for the 1951 National League championship, known "as the shot heard 'round the world."Or the 600th home run of Willie Mays, described by many as the best player in the annals of the game.

In 2001, Barry Bonds -- years away from his own court battles over steroid accusations -- chose against the major companies and set a home run record using a maple bat, a kind of wood whose popularity swept through the major leagues.

Ron Vander Groef, an ESF graduate and plant manager in Dolgeville, said he initially believed maple was a fad, that players would drift back to ash.

Steele said Rawlings/Adirondack was preferred by several Hall of Famers, including Joe Torre and Mike Schmidt. "Now, you can't tell."Since the 1960s, he's helped to create thousands of bats, and he said he has no plans to quit.

Erik Strohl, vice president of exhibitions and collections at the hall in Cooperstown, said his museum has about 90 bats in its collection made by the company.

While the Kren company essentially came to an end with the death of its founder, Adirondack began its own swift rise in the 1940s.

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