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Baden Sports' Axe bat approved by Major League Baseball
Federal Way is the home to Weyerhaeuser, one of the world’s largest timber companies, and now the home to the Axe bat.
Baden Sports Inc., a Federal Way sporting goods company, recently was granted full approval by Major League Baseball to have its Axe line of bats used in games during the 2010 season. The Axe line was granted “provisional” approval by MLB before spring training, but players expressed sufficient interest during the preseason.
“MLB approval is a significant step in the development of this revolutionary new bat line,” said Michael Schindler, Baden’s CEO. “The Axe handle offers real benefits to the players in terms of grain alignment, bat control and injury prevention. With MLB approval, now the best baseball players in the world will have access to a bat that could give them a competitive edge.”
The Axe bats are the same as a traditional wooden bat, except for the axe-shaped handle that is said to increase comfort and reduce hand fatigue. The shape is said to be “ergonomically designed to fit flush in the lower hand.”
The fit is also supposed to reduce bruising of the palm, potential injury to the vulnerable hamate bone and general hand fatigue, Baden says.
To promote the Axe bat during spring training, Baden Sports hired former Mariner Jay Buhner, who believes this baseball innovation will invade the major leagues sooner than later.
“Once players try them out, they’re going to wonder why it took so long for somebody to come up with this,” he said in a press release.
According to Baden, another benefit of the Axe is that it automatically aligns the proper wood grain to the hitting surface of the bat, reducing the risk that the bat will shatter upon breaking.
“With the Axe, the batter doesn’t need to worry about grains and labels. He just grips it and swings,” said Max Kay, Baden’s director of marketing. “It takes the guesswork right out of it.”
The professional-grade wood bats are the first Axe models to hit the market. Baden is planning on releasing alloy and composite bats for both youth baseball and softball later this year.