What's the most famous thing Louisville produces? If you said bourbon, try again - it's the Louisville Slugger baseball bat, and the factory that creates them is a major destination for baseball fanatics. We went after breakfast - here are the pics.
Entryway: The Signature Wall
Fathers get in for free on Father's Day! People literally cheered in line.
Exhibits just outside the factory give lots of information about how the factory began, and how trees turn into bats once inside. This part of the factory allowed photography.
Pete Browning, aka "The Louisville Slugger," used this bat in 1887 when he hit over .400.
Pretty cool = you could use actual players' bats (under the close eye of workers). Mickey Mantle AND Johnny Bench, to say nothing of Cal Ripken and younger players.
Babe Ruth's bat, complete with notches for home runs.
Notice the statues mingling with the tourists.
Hey, gotta start somewhere...
Time to go in... photography would now be prohibited.
However, I had to sneak a photo of my son, who apparently loves baseball bats as much as he loves trucks (which is A LOT).
Once out of the factory portion of the tour, we had intriguing Louisville Slugger quotes from Major Leaguers, like Derek Jeter.
These special mini-bats were awesome. I gave my dad one for his birthday a few weeks later.
Lots of mini-bats, hanging from the ceiling.
Chris liked his mini bat.
Look at that expression of admiration. Future ball player?
Joe DiMaggio's bat
The bat on the left is the earliest known bat used by Jackie Robinson. A replica of the R17 bat that Robinson used starting in 1947 is on the right.
From left = Pete Rose's bat from his 2000th base hit (1975); Johnny Bench's bat; Joe Morgan's bat.
Awesome for a Giants fan = World Series players' bats.
Ted Williams' daughter was signing her book. She's the blonde. I felt bad that very few people were coming to meet her.
Current standings (c'mon Giants and Yankees!).
This was very important - I stowed mine away accordingly.
Coming up = a quick jaunt to Indiana, because it was there.