ENTERING THE BIG LEAGUES

The Hoosier Bat models being used today in amateur baseball leagues around the country can boast a heritage of performance on the biggest stage of all — Major League Baseball — as well as a presence in baseball’s Hall of Fame.

That story began in the 1990s when Valparaiso bat craftsman and Hoosier Bat founder Dave Cook struck up a friendship with Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Hoosier Bats soon began showing up in the hands White Sox players. Frank Thomas used a Hoosier Bat, as did Sammy Sosa — both as a slugger on the South Side and across town with the Cubs, during his memorable home-run record chase with Mark McGwire in 1998.

Thomas — nicknamed “The Big Hurt” — used a Hoosier Bat to clout his 500th career home run. Thomas, still the only player in Major League history to post at least a .300 batting average while also belting 20 homers, knocking in at least 100 runs, scoring more than 100 runs and drawing more than 100 walks in seven consecutive seasons, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014. A bronze statue of him at the entrance to Guaranteed Rate Field, the Sox ballpark, has him wielding a Hoosier Bat, identifiable by its trademark three rings between the grip and the label.

One of Thomas’s Sox teammates, Lance Johnson, also has his Hoosier Bat enshrined at Cooperstown in an exhibit honoring him as the first player in the big leagues to lead both the American League and National League league in hits — with the White Sox in 1995 and the New York Mets a year later.

Yet another Hoosier Bat, this one used by Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder when he won the Home Run Derby at the 2009 MLB All-Star Game, has a place in the Hall of Fame, as well.

Some of baseball’s brightest stars have swung for the fences with Hoosier Bat — and connected.

HALL OF FAME HISTORY

Three Hoosier Bats are featured in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. One was used by Sammy Sosa in his home run race with Mark McGwire. Lance Johnson used a Hoosier Bat to lead both the American League and the National League in hits over back-to-back seasons. In 2007, Frank Thomas hit his 500th Home Run with a Hoosier Bat. Add Hoosier Bats to your arsenal and bring our legacy of excellence to your college, high school, or youth league team.