How to Tell if Your Baseball Bat is Dead
Yes, it happens sometimes. That $300+ bat isn’t hitting like it used to anymore.
This happened to me many times when playing and I learned the best ways to figure out if it’s dead or not from some of the best baseball players I know.
Some of these techniques that I’m going to show you are passed down since the beginning of baseball and still alive today.
Before we start let me go over what it means for your baseball bat to be dead.
What is a Dead Baseball Bat?
A lot of players come across a dead baseball bat but don’t know what it means. From my experience, a dead baseball bat means that the bat lost its power, and doesn’t have as much pop as it used to.
For example, a dead metal bat might now hit like a wood bat.
The strength of the metal might be diminishing, and the inner workings of the bat might have gone to waste already.
There are a couple of ways that a baseball bat might die too. One way is from it hitting the ground too hard.
This happened to me when I was playing high school ball and just when I was really liking my bat (I know it’s probably too late for that) someone takes it to swing. That person was not a good player so it slipped out of his hands and hit the ground.
We were in my High School gym so it hit pretty hard and made a loud noise. I picked it up and it felt normal, but when we went to hit, it was over. I was barely hitting it past the pitcher while having some great connection.
Well, there goes my expensive baseball bat, thanks.
Another way that you can make a bat die is left it in bad weather conditions.
You do not want to leave the bat outside, or in the car since the temperature can fluctuate so much.
During the spring in New Jersey, sometimes the nights and mornings can be super cold, while the end of the day it is super hot. If you leave a bat sitting in the trunk (like I have), it will most likely not last even a season.
The altering of temperatures makes the metal age faster, and weaker.
Please don’t leave your expensive bat inside the car!
The last way that you can have a bat die on you is just old age. Like everything, baseball bats do not last forever.
The older it gets, the more wear and tear that it takes. Do not think that you can make your bat last for an extremely long time.
The longest I had a bat for was 3 years, then it was done for. I know some people might get more years on their baseball bats, but from my experience, it doesn’t last forever.
Now let’s get into ways you can tell if your baseball bat is dead.
How to Tell if Your Bat is Dead
- Knock the Knob
- Look for physical signs (cracks, splinters, ect.)
- Noticeable Power Decrease
- Sound on hits
Knock The Knob
One way that I’m going to tell you is known by baseball players around the world.
All you have to do is knock the knob of the baseball bat (the end where your hands go), and look for a dimmed sound.
What you can do to help is take a newer bat that you know isn’t dead and knock it first to compare the sounds of a bat being dead or alive.
This has worked for me forever and I definitely think that you should try this out.
Another way you can tell if your baseball bat is dead is by looking for any physical signs.
Physical signs include dents, cracks, broken pieces, and bends.
I think that is pretty obvious if you can find one of those, but sometimes they are hard to find.
One time I was looking for dents on my bat but I had to hold a certain way for the dent to be seen.
What most people see first when they think their bat is dead is a noticeable power/pop difference. I found this when someone dropped my bat on the hardwood floor in High School. At first, everything seemed fine, since you can’t really tell if a bat is dead right away.
Once I got onto the field everything became clear to me when the balls stopped going over the fence (just kidding). But seriously the balls would barely make it out of the infield, even on awesome contact and such.
It was that moment when I didn’t let anyone else touch any bat that I had, new or old.
Sounds on Hits
This goes pretty much the same way as power does. You’ll start to notice that the sound that the bat makes when you hit is duller.
For example, instead of hearing a “ping” on solid contact, you’ll hear a “pong”. That would be very funny if that was how ping pong was created.
I would not just go on this signal as your bat sound can change from things like weather, dirt covering it, or maybe you just don’t remember it sounding like that but it does.
Make sure that your bat is actually dead by having other people check it too, and by checking it with multiple tests. The LAST thing that you want to do is get rid of a perfectly fine baseball bat, especially with the price of them nowadays.
I actually had a teammate that “broke” his bat since he stopped hitting well. I immediately took the opportunity to take it off his hands for BP and he let me have it for free. It turns out that it wasn’t dead and that he just was in a slump. Since he already wasted the money on a new one I used it on my other teams until it eventually did break. Don’t be that guy.