While most of this article is likely elementary to bat experts like my colleague Dave Bushing, I’ve always gotten a kick out of game-used bats upon which players have used nicknames, tributes, or other barrel IDs that aren’t their signature nor their block letter/italicized name. This installment of The Shirt (The Bat?) will detail a number of these oddities.
C.M.B. – 24
Taking off on a contemporary movie and a shared group of investments, three Seattle Mariners teammates had their Louisville Slugger bats marked with notations like the one above. The notation above is for Ken Griffey Jr., and stands for Cash Money Brothers, followed by his jersey number. Also part of the posse were Harold Reynolds (CMB – 4) and Kevin Mitchell (CMB – 7). The genre dates to 1992, as that was the only season Mitchell wore a Mariners uniform.
Seen on 1990s Louisville and Rawlings bats, this was the nickname of well-traveled second baseman Delino DeShields, and appeared on and off for the majority of his career.
This Rawlings bat barrel ID was the brain child of former Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa, and appeared sporadically in the mid-1990s. One reader of my old SCD column reported visiting a spring training park in that era and buying a cracked Bruce Wayne bat from the gift shop for $10, apparently because the shop staff didn’t recognize the connection! For the uninitiated, Sosa used Bruce Wayne because of his hero identity (Batman).
This is a circa 1999-2000 barrel ID found on Robin Ventura’s New York Mets lumber…a self-depreciating comment on his game sticks.
These bats were a tribute to a sick child ordered from Louisville and swung by Colorado Rockies slugger Larry Walker circa 1999-2001.
Borrowing from the NBA star of the 1960s, Todd Hundley has had sticks from Louisville and Rawlings labelled thusly circa 2000.
Riffing on the 1980s Pac-Man video game, surly slugger Jeff Leonard had this nickname engraved on much of his game lumber.
I’m sure I missed some…if you can come up with any, email ’em to me at email@example.com and I’ll run ’em in a future column.