I recently went to Trinity Bat Company in Fullerton and met with the president, Steve McKee, to discuss the possibilities of purchasing a new bat. My meeting with Steve was fortuitous in nature and I was very grateful to have the opportunity to “pick his brain” regarding some aspects of the materials. When I initially walked into the showroom, I had an idea of what I would be purchasing. As mentioned in other posts, I prefer a bat that has weight towards the end. After sifting through all of the display models I was stuck between two – the T161 and the HK47 (Howie Kendrick’s preferred model). I passed the time with some small talk while trying to make up my mind. I have a moderate understanding of Maple and Ash but not Birch.
After our brief conversations, I did some additional independent research. I was able to determine that birch has qualities similar to maple and ash. Birch is hard like maple but flexible like ash. It requires “break in” time unlike maple which is very hard when it is new. Birch bats sound dull but actually provide the same output (distance-wise) to maple. I found this tidbit important since a large part of hitting is the feedback you received from hitting a ball. Effort will be needed to break in any birch bat and results must be monitored by distance rather than sound. With this information I figured I would give birch a shot. In the matter of two weeks I was able to pick up my 33.75″, 31.75 oz., birch wood bat, model T161 (as seen below).