Doctoring bats in major league baseball has been around for almost as long as the game has been invented. The way that players have doctored bats has definitely changed since the beginning as new materials are found that work better. What effects does corking a bat have? What materials are used in corking a bat? How do you cork a bat? What is the history of corking a bat in major league baseball? Who in major league baseball has been caught corking a bat? When corking a bat you are changing how the bat acts when you hit a baseball. The “corking” of the bat causes the bat to have more flex when hitting a ball.
In a wood bat when you cork it, you actually make the bat more than 1. 5 ounces lighter when using corks. When a bat is corked then the bat will have less inertia, the amount of force it takes to move an object, which allows them to swing the bat faster. A corked bat also gives the batter 5 thousandths of a second to make up their mind on whether to swing or not. It also will change the center of mass, or sweet spot this is the spot where a batter will get the most pop of the ball off their bat, of the bat. How to cork a baseball bat, there are actually two ways to cork a baseball bat.
Corks and superballs go inside the hole that is drilled inside of a wood bat. After this the hole that was drilled is plugged up with a wood filler. Finally sand down the wood filler so the bat looks like it did before the bat was corked. When corking an aluminum, Molargik 2 bbcor 2 5/8ths barrel width bats, pop off the plastic top the is on the bat. Next put tennis balls into the bat and put the plastic cap back onto the bat. The Materials that are used to cork a bat depend on what bat you are corking. In a wood bat you can use anything from bouncey balls, sawdust, crushed cork, and anything that is similar to these materials.
In an aluminum bat you can use tennis balls or racquetballs. The downside to using racquetballs is that they will rattle a little bit more on the inside of the bat unlike that tennis balls, but using racquetballs will give the bat a little more flex than tennis balls. History of corking bats in major league baseball. Corking a baseball bat in the top level of baseball has gone on since the very beginning of baseball. Every sense the 1900’s there have been some kind of “doctored” bats. At the very beginning players would drive nails into their bats, they did this so they could add more weight to the barrel of the bat.
At that time whenever a player was caught with a corked bat they were not suspended or ejected their bat was just removed from the game. Not until the 1975 season was a rule put in place that ejected players who were caught using a doctored bat in a game. The rule states: “6. 06 A batter is out for illegal action when: (d) He uses or attempts to use a bat that, in the umpire’s judgment, has been altered or tampered with in such a way as to improve the distance factor or cause an unusual reaction on the baseball. This includes bats that are filled, flat-surfaced, nailed, hollowed, grooved or covered with a substance such as paraffin, wax, etc.
No advancement on the bases will be allowed and any out or outs made during a play shall stand. In addition to being called out, the player shall be ejected from the game and may be subject to additional penalties as determined by his league president. Rule 6. 06 (d) Comment: A batter shall be deemed to have used or attempted to use an illegal bat if he brings such a bat into the batter’s box”(David Wade 1) Molargik This rule shows that it is up to the umpire to make the call of whether or not to fulfill the rule against a player using a corked bat.
This rule changed the game for forever it caused the commissioner of baseball at the time to create a rule that allowed each team one bat from the opposing team that they would be inspected to see if it was corked. In one incident in 1994 the Chicago White Sox manager asked the umpires to inspect a bat being used by Albert Belle. They took the bat and locked in a room, they were planning on shipping it off to New York to be examined. One of Albert Belle’s teammates snuck through the ductwork of the stadium and switched out the bat with another player’s bat.
This attempted ruse was easily detected and the person was later caught. Throughout all of major league baseball only 6 players have ever been caught in a game using a corked bat. They six players that have been caught are Sammy Sosa, Wilton Guerrero, Albert Belle, Billy Hatcher, Dan Ford, and Graig Nettles. Out of these six only one did something to their bat other than corking. One incident that has raised the most suspicion is the case of Pete Rose. When Pete was dwindling down in his career he was aiming for the record of all time hitter in the MLB. One of Pete’s bats that were sold at auction when he finished his career.
Some of the bats had his number, 14, on the top and bottom of his bat. This only happened on a handful of Rose’s bat. This bat was later x-rayed and it was later found that he had corked his bat. The most interesting thing about this is that on the cover of sports illustrated Pete is holding the exact same bat in the on deck circle while he was on his mission of getting the record. Whenever a player is caught red handed using a corked bat it normally happens whenever their bat is split open and an umpire grabs it and sees that there is cork or something in the bat.
Molargik 4 The latest episode of corking a bat was in 2003 when Sammy Sosa was caught when his bat broke on a groundball. Bats in the major league have gone from as simple as nails pounded into the head of the bat, to hollowing out the bat, and to putting a foreign substance like cork inside the bat. In 1975 the first rule that ever punished players for doctoring their bat and using it in a game was created. Throughout all of baseball only six players have ever been caught of doctoring their bats in a game.