My interest in Adirondack bats has been a strong one for some time. I have always thought they were more visually appealing, especially the two toned bats from the mid to late 1950s as well as the white lettering that extends into the early 1960s. My interest in doing some real research was actually peaked a few years ago and it focused on the word LIGNINIZED.

In the early to late 1950s, the word LIGNINIZED appears as part of the barrel stamping for Adirondack bats. While not as intuitively obvious as H&B markings such as Bone Rubbed or Oil Treated, it had to mean something and was one question I have long had. This issue of LIGNINIZED really became a point of interest for me a few years back when I saw a bat of Hall of Famer that had the foil branding enhanced, and rather poorly with a black pen. The person obviously did not know what they were doing since the barrel markings now read LIONIZED.

This is by no means an “Official Answer”, but rather something I wanted to know with respect to this project. I believe that this barrel annotation has something to with lignin’s. A lignin is a chemical glue that makes the cells in wood fibers stiff and waterproof. As a tree grows between the bark and the sapwood each season, some of the carbohydrates within the living wood are used to create another member of the overall composite; a lignin. The function of lignin in wood is to provide an additional supporting structure, and to help the wood repel attacks from degrading organisms. In other words it appears lignin’s help to increase the strength and flexibility of the wood. Related searches for the this word and topic led me to a couple of Patient references dealing with a process for chemically hardening wood as well as one for the treatment and impregnation of wood poles for preservation. So much for my attempt to be Bill Nye the Science Guy.

The earliest bat I have found LIGNINIZED on is a 1953 Gil Hodges All Star Game bat. Other examples I have found include.

Ashburn, Richie: 1951-1957, Model 137B


Bauer, Hank: 1955, Model 4K

Signature model, 1955 World Series stampings, two toned with white lettering, PERSONAL MODEL above name LIGNINIZED below.

Crandel, Del: 1951-1957, Model 114A

Signature model, PERSONAL MODEL above name LIGNINIZED below.

Garagiola, Joe: 1951-1957 Model 73B

Signature Model, PERSONAL MODEL above name, LIGNINIZED below. Bat was then sent to Hillerich and Bradsby in 1954 by team mate Eddie Miksis and was used as the model for his M173 (now vault marked) as found in the Louisville factory records as model sent in on 3-21-55.

Hodges, Gil:1953, Model 106E

Signature model, 1953 All Star stamping, PERSONAL MODEL above name LIGNINIZED below.

Hodges, Gil: 1951-1957, Model 106A

Signature model, PERSONAL MODEL above name LIGNINIZED below.

Kluszewski, Ted: 1951-1957 Model 129A

TED KLUSZEWSKI block name, PERSONAL MODEL above name, LIGNINIZED below, Two Toned, white stamping.

Mantle, Mickey: 1951-1957 Model 89B

Block name MANTLE, PERSONAL MODEL above name LIGNINIZED below.

Mathews, Eddie: 1951-1957 Model 63X

Block name MATHEWS, PERSONAL MODEL above name, LIGNINIZED below
Two Toned, white lettering.

Mathews, Eddie: 1951-1957, Model 113A

Block name MATHEWS, PERSONAL MODEL above name LIGNINIZED below.

Reese, Pee Wee: 1951-1957, Model 136B

Block name REESE, PERSONAL MODEL above name LIGNINIZED below.

With the Hodges (1953), Garagiola, (1954) and Bauer (1955) we are provided some year specific examples for the general labeling period. The word LIGNINIZED does appear in Adirondack product listings/bulletins for 1957, but not in the same style of publication for 1958. The 1958 bat bulletin does reflect the center brand change.

Period images have not yielded much information so far, but I continue to look. The image of Eddie Mathews is from the 1953-1956 period based on the uniform, with 1953 being the first year in Milwaukee and 1956 being the last year of the larger Indian Head Dress Patch.

So what do we know now that that we may not have know before?

1. Why LIGNINIZED appears as a barrel stamping.

2. It appears as early as 1953 and that Adirondack produced player All Star Game bats at least as early as 1953.

So what do I know now that I knew before?

1. There is a lot I still don’t know.

2. Doing the research yourself and writing about what I’ve learned is the best part of what I do as a hobby.

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


For questions and comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at