Aluminum Bats vs. Wooden
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- There's a growing concern in the Central Valley that the game of baseball has become too dangerous for young players because of the type of bats used in the game.
That's because aluminum bats speed up balls and in turn can increase the risk to players.
The Easter Classic is underway in Fresno. More than 30 high school baseball teams from around the state are competing to be the best. However, there's another competition taking place that's putting the players in harms way.
Hanford coach Tim Scott said: "These bat companies are trying to compete with each other. They're coming out with more and more advanced equipment." Hoover High parent Mark McNiff said: "the technology is way too good on the bats."
Wooden bats gave way to aluminum ones back in the late 70s among college and high school athletes. And you'll be hard pressed to find a wooden one here.
Players from Hanford overwhelmingly prefer them. And how can they not when every year manufacturers boast better performance, feel and power.
Aluminum bats definitely give players the upper hand. Some of the technology involved in making these bats is found in airplanes. Some believe that's cheating and increases danger on the field.
Right now everyone in the dugout is talking about Marin county pitcher Gunnar Sandberg.
On March 11th a ball struck off an aluminum bat him in the head and forced doctors to place him in a medically induced coma.
Now assembly member Jared Huffman is writing a bill that would ban organized play with aluminum bats in the state of California.
"I think every school district is monitoring this situation," said Doug Semmen, the athletic director of the Fresno Unified School District.
Semmen said district officials are waiting to change the rules of play. "I think it will be played out in terms of legislation. C.I.F. which is our governing body and again we're monitoring it because we always want to keep the student athletes safety first and foremost," he said.
Coaches and parents we spoke to said they prefer the wooden slugger. Hoover High parent Marvin Kendricks said: "I think it's going to bring back a lot more fun to the game."
"Myself I'm old school. I wouldn't mind seeing these kids swing wooden bats," said Coach Scott.
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