One of the first things you might notice about your new bat is the “ink dot” on the handle of the wood. Back in 2009, there were many concerns about the safety and durability of wood bats; specifically maple bats. Major League Baseball commissioned studies to see how the safety of maple bats could be increased.
Prairie Sticks, is committed to providing the best possible to wood, and every maple and birch bat we produce gets the ink dot test. If you purchased a bat with a stained/painted handle you will see a 1” circle around the ink dot for inspection purposes.
If the ink dot deviates more than 2.8 degrees the bat fails the ink dot test and the bat does not get sent out. This ensures the bat you receive is the strongest piece of wood possible. What this ink dot test has done is curtail multi piece breakages and increased the safety of the sport. Bats will still break, but when they will break they will rupture instead of bat head flying across the field of play.
We use split billets instead of sawn, our billets 99% of the time pass this test. It is another measure we take to make sure you are getting big league wood at a fair price. To test whether or not a bat has good slope of grain, we take a drop of black ink and place it onto the handle and sand it down to expose the actual grains that have the ink in them. It is often hard to see the way in which the grain runs on hard maple or birch, so when the ink soaks into the wood, it will “bleed” along the grain. If it bleeds straight, then we know that we have made you a bat with a strong, durable, safe piece of wood. We also rotate the PS logo 90 degrees to the edge grain on maple and birch bats to conform to MLB bat regulations that were put in place in 2009.
You will often see bats in stores without this ink dot. Be aware of what you are purchasing before taking it home.