A few weeks back I wrote a piece on Adirondack C & D Model bats. In it, I took issue with some long held and frequently espoused opinions about these bats being store model bats or those being manufactured for minor league or college use, namely:

1. “These products were available through retail catalog sales to the general public.”

2. “The quality of the wood is not professional grade first growth Northern White Ash” and or “they were produced for minor league players, minor league teams, and colleges.”

To me it seems much more plausible to consider the C & D Model bats the equivalent of the H&B/Louisville Slugger “Index Bats.” This is a commonly used term, but it is not found in of glossary or terms in the Bushing/Knoll MastroNet Guide, the PSA Glossary of Bat Terms, nor in Vince Malta’s latest work. The Hillerich and Bradsby team order sheets contain countless references to “See Index”. For the Hall of Famers listed in Vince Malta’s latest book, Vince has done a great job listing the Pro Stock Model for each of the players and has included a very detailed definition for Pro Stock Model bats.

Logic dictates that for an “index order” to have been filled, that order would have to been placed against some listing or “index”. This index could have been a listing of either popular or Pro Stock Models for various players. Team orders show entries for players that may not have played for the team ordering them or even those players whose playing days had long since passed. In any event, team orders have come to be known as “Team Index Orders” or “Index Bats” for short. I checked with a few folks and Vince Malta,Mike Specht, and John Taube were kind enough to reply with some points of clarification. This was not surprising as I have always found these gentlemen very good about sharing information and thoughts.

Vince informed me that in the course of his research, he was not been able to locate the various “indexs” that are referenced in the team order sheets. Mike Specht pointed me to Vince’s discussion of Pro Stock bats in his latest book (pages 50-51) where I think Vince captures the essence of the “Team Index Bat” very succinctly when he states “Pro Stock bats shipped to professional teams for their players at the Major League or Minor League level are usually associated with player names associated with player names associated with the team franchise.” It is also mentioned that these bats were “on hand for their Major League position players, pitchers and their affiliated minor league teams.”

What I am trying to get at is that a “Pro Stock Bat” is a product and “Team Index” refers more to a process for placing and filling orders, but they are interrelated. Thus, the hobby can either refer to bats ordered in bulk by a team as part of an “Index Order” either as simply Pro Stock Bats or as Team Index bats, or :

TEAM INDEX BAT: A bat ordered for general organizational use that coincides with an established or indexed player model or length.

For Hillerich and Bradsby, these are signature model bats of players of some renown or prominence. All I have been suggesting in my look at Adirondack bats is that why would the McLaughlin-Millard Company be any different, especially since their catalogs state they “reserve the right to sell directly to all professional baseball clubs.”

My premise for stating that I feel the C&D model bats serve as the Adirondack “Pro Stock” or “Team Index” product is based on a review of the catalogs and study of wood quality by “grain count.” I picked up a great bat recently that seems to reinforce this theory. The bat is a 1968-1970 Adirondack 307D Model bat bearing the name PHILIDELPHIA PHILLIES on the barrel. The bat features a grain count of six grains per inch. The retail catalogs from this period make no mention of this type of bat that was clearly ordered for general organizational use.

Vintage Authentics Auctions recently offered two Hank Aaron Adirondack D Model bats; a 1959-1960 82D and a 1968-1970 289D. The descriptions for both items included statements categorizing both of these are “vintage store model bats” that were available for “public sale”. Both bats featured barrel stampings for AARON TYPE. The Aaron Type of Standard Type (as they are referred to) does not appear in the 1957 Adirondack Bat Catalog but does appear in the 1960 Bat Catalog. Once again, there is no mention of the C&D series of products and bats while retail “inch marked” knobs can be found on Adirondack bat products going back to the mid 1940s.

In another previous article, I wrote why I thought Mickey Mantle was a prime candidate fitting a profile for someone who may have likely used “Index Bats.” Consider these two MANTLE TYPE bats.

Mantle, Mickey: 1951-1957, Model 288C

Block name MANTLE TYPE, white lettering, ADIRONDACK above name FLAME TREATED below. Leland’s May 2003. Vintage #7 on knob and provenance form Chicago White Sox bat boy.

Mantle, Mickey: 1961-1967 Model 288D

Block name MANTLE TYPE, ADIRONDACK above name FLAME TREATED below. #7 written on knob. Vintage Authentics November 2007.

The thing is, you will also find Mantle Adirondack bats in other models with his name recorded on the barrel as both “Mickey Mantle” and just “Mantle”. If these C&D model “MANTLE TYPE” bats were used by Mantle, which they may have been, how is their presence explained? I think the “Index Bat Theory” makes as much sense as anything else right now.

For the period of 1959-1960, Hank Aaron’s personal player order sheet only show him ordering 27 bats from Hillerich & Bradsby. An entry can be found on 7-21-61 stating that his new A99 was made off an Adirondack 63B. In 1969, Aaron would also have his model A115 made from an Adirondack Model bat as well. Aaron also ordered 34” from H&B in both 1957 and 1958.

Getting back on track…Was Adirondack supplying the Milwaukee Braves with bats during this time frame? Yes they were. Braves players Del Crandel, Joe Adcock, Bobby Thomson, Alvin Dark and Danny O’Connell were signature endorsers. By 1960, Adirondack was producing “Standard Type” bats for both Aaron and Mathews. For Hall of Famers Aaron, Mathews and Schoendienst we can find examples of their Adirondack period bats in the hobby as well (I have only listed those examples that are clearly not duplicate offerings):

Aaron, Hank;1954-1957 Model 63A

Block name AARON, ADIRONDACK above name PERSONAL MODEL below. Hunt’s November 2005.

Aaron, Hank; 1958-1960 Model 63A

Block name AARON, ADIRONDACK above name PERSONAL MODEL below.Leland’s May 1996.

Mathews, Eddie; 1952-1957 Model 63X

Block name MATHEWS, PERSONAL MODEL above name, LIGNINIZED below Two Toned, white lettering. Grey Flannel September 2006.

Mathews, Eddie; 1951-1957 Model 113A


Mathews, Eddie; 1958-1960 Model 79A

Block name MATHEWS, ADIRONDACK above name PERSONAL MODEL below. Vintage 41 on knob. Grey Flannel June 2002.

Mathews, Eddie; 1958-1960 Model 113A

Block name EDDIE MATHEWS, white lettering ADIRONDACK above name FLAME TREATED below. MASTROs June 2001.

Schoendienst, Red; 1951-1957 Model 52A

Block name SCHOENDIENST, PERSONAL above name MODEL below. REA May 2004.

Schoendienst, Red; 1958-1960 Model 94A

Block name SCHOENDIENST, white lettering, ADIRONDACK above name FLAME TREATED below. Ron Oser, December 2000.

Let’s try to put this into some perspective using the Braves’ hallmark season of 1957 when they defeated the Yankees in the World Series; a series that went the full seven games. Of the regular position players who appeared in at least 5 games, ever notice how many of them we have evidence of their use of Adirondack bats? The answer is more than half.

Hank Aaron: Yes

Joe Adcock: Yes

Wes Covington: No

Del Crandel: Yes

Johnny Logan: No

Eddie Mathews: Yes

Andy Pafko: No

Red Schoendienst: Yes

Frank Torre: No

Does any of this make the 1959-1960 Hank Aaron 82D an Aaron Gamer? The answer is no, but that is not the reason I bid on it or the purpose for this article. Given what I have shown about the information that is actually contained in the retail bat catalogs, the quality of the wood found in C&D model bats, the statement by McLaughlin-Millard about the policy of selling directly to all professional baseball clubs, the fact that Hillerich and Bradsby sold bats to teams at the organizational level, the recent find of the 1968-1970 Adirondack 307D PHILIDELPHIA PHILLES bat, the fact that the 302 series of bats can be found with both “inch length marks” and C&D series model numbers, I remain curious and eager to hear from folks who still consider Adirondack C&D model bats as retail offerings or “store model bats.” I would also be curious to hear why Adirondack would not have produced, marketed and sold a:

TEAM INDEX BAT: A bat ordered for general organizational use that coincides with an established or indexed player model or length.

As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.


For questions or comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com