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Swing, Batter

Which bats work best? The Brooklyn Bulldogs decide.

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Gone are the days of simply grabbing a banged-up Louisville Slugger and heading to the sandlot. Little League–appropriate bat specs now vary depending on kids’ ages and playing levels, with a debate raging over the relative safety of wood versus metal bats. Wood advocates argue that metal hits harder and is unsafe for pitchers, who can be knocked flat by line drives. Converts say metal bats are lighter, easier to swing (especially for the littlest Little Leaguers), and less likely to shatter. The current options are dizzying: Metal bats can be double or single walled, covered in tattoo-like graphics, and made of materials more often associated with airplanes; wood bats are equally aerodynamic and are constructed out of maple, or even bamboo, more often than classic ash. Then there are hybrids, with a wood core surrounded by a fiberglass shell. How do they hit? We asked the Brooklyn Bulldogs, the 12U traveling team of the 78th Precinct Youth Council, to sample a selection of 2009 models during a Thursday-afternoon batting practice and pick their favorites.


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