Nothing would delight us more than to see the return of the wooden bat in youth leagues and college. That's a lie actually; many things would delight us more. But about the bats ... the New York City school system has passed a measure to ban aluminum bats beginning this September (just in time for football season!), opening the door for the return of our slender wooden friends.
Youth leagues and lawmakers are proposing similar bans in other areas, including New Jersey, where a 12-year-old boy went into cardiac arrest and suffered serious injuries after a batted ball struck him in the chest. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed the bat ban earlier this month, saying the issue should be left up to those who run the youth leagues, not the government. But the City Council overwhelmingly knocked down the veto by a vote of 41-4.
The knock against the wooden bat has always been that they, you know, tend to break, and it can be expensive for a youth league or high school program to have to replace them. But these days, as the price of a good aluminum or composite bat ventures deeper and deeper into crazy land, price seems to be less of a factor. If Keanu Reeves wants to coach that inner-city Little League team, he's gonna have to pay through the nose for his bats either way.
Plus, we have to admit that when it comes to the wooden bat, we just dig the sound. There are really few things less appealing than the ping of aluminum on a sunny spring day.
That's a lie, actually. There are many things less appealing.