Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sun Prairie Based TECO Tests Bats for Major League Baseball (

When many baseball fans watch a shattering baseball bat, they see brute strength tearing into a bat. But when research engineer Dave Kretschmann, of the US Forest Products Lab, watched it, he saw a design flaw.

Kretschmann and a Sun Prairie wood testing and certification agency, TECO, collected more than 2,000 broken bats from Major League Baseball.

They catalogued them all and discovered that the ones in pieces had a spiraled grain in the handle. They tested theories on wood dowels in the USDA Forest Products Lab to see how straight the grain needed to be, and then researchers in Massachusetts tested real bats. In the end, the team developed nine recommendations, which were adopted this week by MLB. The recommendations changed the look and makeup of maple bats.

TECO Inc. in Sun Prairie will also be working with manufacturers of bats on new techniques to produce them as well as creating a quality-control audit system.

UPDATE: Click here for additional coverage at

No comments: