Knocking one out of the park
It’s a great old saying and appropriate for the Monday after a day at the Louisville Slugger factory. Our goal everyday here is to knock it out of the park for Him! Now a little history about the Louisville Slugger.
In many ways, the rich, 120-year history of the Louisville Slugger baseball bat began in the talented hands of 17-year-old John A. “Bud” Hillerich.
Bud’s father, J. F. Hillerich, owned a growing woodworking shop in Louisville, Kentucky, in the 1880s when Bud began working for him.
Legend has it that Bud, who played baseball himself, slipped away from work one afternoon in 1884 to watch Louisville’s major league team, the Louisville Eclipse. The team’s star, Pete Browning, mired in a hitting slump, broke his bat.
Bud invited Browning over to his father’s shop to make him a new one. With Browning at his side giving advice, Bud hand-crafted a new bat from a long slab of wood. Browning got three hits with it the next day.
Browning told his teammates, which began a surge of professional ball players to the Hillerich shop. Yet J. F. Hillerich had little interest in making bats; he saw the company future in stair railings, porch columns and swinging butter churns. For a brief time in the 1880s, he even turned away ball players.
Bud persisted; he saw the future in bats. His father, pleased with his son’s enthusiasm, relented. The rest is baseball history.
In 1894, with Bud Hillerich taking over from his father, the name “Louisville Slugger” was registered with the U.S. Patent Office. In the early 1900s, the growing company pioneered a sports marketing concept by paying Hall of Fame hitter Honus Wagner to use his name on a bat-a practice continued with Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and so many other professional athletes in virtually all sports today. By 1923, Louisville Slugger was selling more bats than any other bat maker in the country. Baseball was the nation’s most popular sport, and legends like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Lou Gehrig all swung Louisville Sluggers.
One of the thrilling aspects of this story is the consistency of baseball history. Even though many things about the game has changed, players still have to try and hit the same ball with the same bats used for over a hundred years.
It is important in our lives to feel we know some things that have not changed, that they remain the same so that we have point of reference to lean against.
God’s love never changes. The foundational truths of our faith do not change. Isn’t it wonderful to know that when you get on your knees to talk to your Heavenly Father that, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Now go our there today and hit one out of the park………
*Photo and Video notes: All images an videos were shot with the Nikon D300s and 16-85 AFS VR and 70-300 AFS VR DX lenses.
This entry was posted on Monday, May 24th, 2010 at 8:08 am
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