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Exhibition Baseball Americana

Mushroom handle bat (34"), late-nineteenth century. Manchester, NH: B. H. Piper Co. Courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (080.00.00)

Nineteenth-Century Bat

Commonly used in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the mushroom handle bat features a heavy bulb-like end that serves as a counterbalance to the barrel. Players used a higher grip on the bat then, and the thick handle also makes this a weightier bat than those used today. Plenty of manufacturers produced quality bats, but by the 1920s the Louisville Slugger was the most popular bat in baseball.