Batter Up! See How the Louisville Slugger is Made at this Kentucky Museum

Production Line at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Louisville, Kentucky
Production Line at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Louisville, Kentucky | Photo Credit: Flickr - Jeffrey Hayes
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For an all star experience, head on over to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. From it humble beginnings to becoming the official ball bat of Major League Baseball (MLB), this piece of iconic sport equipment has an interesting story. This engaging attraction offers plenty of hands-on fun for all ages. Whether you come to have a custom bat made or go on a factory tour, be sure to snap your picture with the World’s Largest Baseball Bat (you can’t miss it!).

Table of Contents

About

In the spring of 1884, 17-year old J.A. Hillerich skipped work as an apprentice at his fathers woodworking shop to watch a ball game. The major league team of the Louisville Eclipse played a competitive game and player Pete Browning broke his baseball bat.

After the game, Bud promised Pete that he could make him a new and better bat. The next day, he returned to the field with the bat in which Pete successfully used for three hits. Soon after, many other players on the Louisville Eclipse were asking Bud to make them a bat.

As ball players began swarming the Hillerich’s woodworking shop, Bud’s dad turned them away. He wanted the family business to stay focused on making spindles for staircases and columns for porch posts. Nevertheless, Bud remained eager to produce his ball bats.

Ten years after gaining popularity with Pete Browning, Bud took over his father’s woodworking shop in 1894. Shortly after assuming the role, he patented his bat and the name to begin producing them for players across the country. Within a few years the business grew and had to move to a bigger location.

Babe Ruth's Louisville Slugger at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Kentucky
Babe Ruth’s Louisville Slugger at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Kentucky | Photo Credit: Flickr – Jeffrey Hayes

Over the course of the 20th century, the Louisville Slugger became a household name. Famous players to use variations of the baseball bat included Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig and many more. The Louisville Slugger became the official bat of the MLB and remains so to this day.

Around the 1970s, the aluminum bat became more popular and the company began producing that type as well. In its years of operation, the Louisville Slugger has evolved and offered various styles, weights and customizations for its players.

The Louisville Slugger company has reportedly sold over 100 million bats. While the location of the bats production has moved to different locations amongst the Greater Louisville area, today the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory offers visitors to explore the history and watch a piece of American sports history be crafted.

Things to Do

Batting Cages

Pretend to step up to the plate in a batting cage. Compete against your friends or family to see who can hit the best. The batting cage offers different types of bats from vintage wooden styles to modern composite ones.

Factory Tour

One of the most exciting things to do at the Louisville Slugger Museum is the factory tour. While on the tour, visitors can see the bat making process. This step-by-step demonstration offers a behind-the-scenes view in the production of the baseball bat.

Museum Exhibits

The Bat Vault at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Louisville, Kentucky
The Bat Vault at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Louisville, Kentucky | Photo Credit: Flickr – Joseph Gage.

The museum offers several unique exhibits with hands-on attractions such as a viewing area for a 90 mph fastball. See how fast these balls are pitched in a competitive game. Also witness old time bat making techniques and see how “Louisville Slugger” is burn branded into a ball bat. Through interpretive exhibits, discover the history of the bat and it’s teenage founder dating back to the late 1800s. Also, be sure to go to the Bat Vault to see a collection of every type of Louisville Slugger ever made. Plus hold the replica bats of famed players like Babe Ruth and Ken Griffey Jr.

Museum Store

Browse authentic historic memorabilia that is up for sale or auction. Plus shop through plenty of Louisville Slugger merchandise including shirts, hats, keychains, gloves or even get a personalized bat made.

Signature Wall

Signature Wall at the Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville, Kentucky
Signature Wall at the Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville, Kentucky | Photo Credit: Flickr – Lisa Davis

In the foyer of the museum, be sure to take a moment to view many signatures on the wooden wall. Each of these signatures reveal a player who is a Louisville Slugger contract athlete.

World’s Largest Baseball Bat

World's Largest Baseball Bat at the Louisville Slugger Museum, Kentucky
World’s Largest Baseball Bat at the Louisville Slugger Museum, Kentucky | Photo Credit: Flickr – StevenW.

Visitors to the museum (or downtown Louisville) can’t help but notice the 120-foot tall baseball bat casually leaning against the front of the Louisville Slugger Museum. Holding the Guinness Book of World Records title, the bat is the largest in the world. It reportedly weighs over 68,000 pounds!

Plan Your Visit

A visit to this museum offers not only the intriguing history of America’s favorite bat, it also offers a great mixture of hands-on and rotating exhibits that keep it exciting on every visit.

The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is located in downtown Louisville at 800 West Main Street.

If you enjoyed reading this post or have visited the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory before, leave a comment below or share this post on your favorite social media!

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