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Discussion: Cold Weather Clarification: Bats or Balls?

Posted Discussion
March 3, 2013
cheezhed1
Men's 65
18 posts
Cold Weather Clarification: Bats or Balls?
All of us at one time or another have played in cold weather. I live in Forida and occasionally have had to play ealy morning games in a FHC tournament when the temp was in the 40's. I am considering buying a microwavable bat warmer to protect my bats. I know that the Bat manufactures clearly state not to use a bat in cold weather conditions. My question is, does a bat warmer give the necessary protection or is it actually a false sense of security and the real culprit in cold weather are the balls?
March 3, 2013
Fred S
Men's 80
84 posts
Plain and simple it is the balls.

Bat warmer is theoretically to increase performance which is why ASA has banned them.
March 3, 2013
Omar Khayyam
994 posts
You hit a ball that has been sitting in a shed in near-freezing (or colder) temperatures, or in someone's trunk, and then that ball is thrown out to be hit, and warm bat, or not, you are risking a cracked bat. Warm the balls up (on the floor of the car under a heater, for example) and even a cold bat will likely not suffer harm.
March 3, 2013
Tri18
608 posts
Omar is pretty much correct. What players don't realize is that the cold affects not only the bat but the core of the ball being used too. Without getting super technical , composite bats AND solid core softballs both become harder and more brittle with temperatures even at 65 degrees. Every degree lower equals a higher chance of bat breakage. Add in some morning dew and you have a horrible combination for even the most durable of bats. Both the walls of the bat and the core of the ball flex LESS when in colder temperatures so the impact is much more damaging to the fibers of the bat. We all know senior bats carry no warranty although most manufacturers do occasionally consider early breakage for defective replacement. I would caution you at this time of the year all bat companies are not real receptive to any kind of consideration as a result of temperatures across the US. Let me further explain to you....if you did use your bat at temps below 65 and/or used it with wet bp balls and it DID NOT BREAK.....
1. Consider yourself very lucky.
2. You DID NOT "get away" with it because...
Structural damage of SOME KIND has been done on the inside of your bat. Fiber stress that usually would not happen in a proper environment HAS happened inside your bat thereby affecting it's usable lifespan. You simply got away with it that day but you have taken away from it's overall durability by subjecting it to those conditions. The amount of damage greatly depends on your swing speed, technique, temperature, type of ball hit, etc....
Since I sell all the lines of Senior and regular bats I should probably not share this since I will sell more bats (LOL)but....I believe in providing factual information to all of you so that you can make your best choice in equipment. If you have questions or need anything please contact me at 561-718-7504.
Alan Tanner
Tricoach18@att.net
March 6, 2013
Silk11
Men's 50
41 posts
Alan- Since some games are played in sub 65 degree temperatures... what do you suggest as far as a type of bat to use?
March 6, 2013
Tri18
608 posts
Very good question...obviously a USSSA or Asa bat that is composite will hold up better in colder temperatures but ANY bat runs the risk of durability issues in colder weather. Even aluminum bats that are the "newer alloys" such as cu31,c404,and 7000 series can be adversely affected although to a lesser extent than composites. If you are talking a new bat I would buy one with a warranty so you can get an exchange if necessary. Certainly the new Miken Ultra ASA would be a good bp and cold weather choice.
Alan Tanner
561-718-7504
Team 1 Sports
March 7, 2013
Silk11
Men's 50
41 posts
Alan- Since some games are played in sub 65 degree temperatures... what do you suggest as far as a type of bat to use?
March 7, 2013
Silk11
Men's 50
41 posts
Thanks Alan! Is there is difference between the 2013 and the 2014 model?
March 7, 2013
surf88
Men's 60
871 posts
Cheezhed/Silk: The bat warmers can also wreak havoc o the molecular structure of the composite materials depending upon how hot the item gets the bat.

I use a Reebok Vector-O or ASA Melee and I live in extreme cold weather here in Colorado. If you would like to know more about it, please call me.
Ed Andrews
(970) 729-3145
Andrews Companies
March 7, 2013
tattooball
611 posts
Surf sorry to burst your bubble but bat warmers do nothing to a composite bats structure. The resins used are molded at temps above 280f some much higher. If a bat was able to get that hot it would melt.

We tested with ASA various bat warmers and none got above 190f for any sustained period. When the bats were removed from the warmer they dropped in temp rapidly. We also left bats out in the sun on a 85f day and the balck bats reached temps over 165f just by sitting in the sun. They returned to 85f in 4 minutes after being put in the shade. The microwave packs that are used in bat warmers are only supossed to produce temps of 220f max, you may be able to get them higher but it is not safe to do.
March 8, 2013
surf88
Men's 60
871 posts
tattoo: I am going to listen to qualified engineers over you. You may be highly knowledgeable, but I don't know you. I have spoken with some engineers who have shared that in the event a composite bat is heated too much, it could result in a failure and/or breakage. I tell my customers not to hit below 65 degrees and to be careful with regard to bat warming.
March 8, 2013
tattooball
611 posts
Surf you can listen to whom ever you like. I have been in both the bat and ball business for over 25 years and the facts you stated simply are not true. You are a reebok guy here is a fact foe you. They called me to see how to get the Reebok bats to pass the test.........
March 8, 2013
HJ
Men's 70
438 posts
tattooball, your posts raise an interesting question. If one has a dark bat which absorbs heat and it is a sunny day, what temperature range would maximize performance. If a bat can get to say 165 as you suggest, is it best to let it get that hot or take it out of the sun earlier at a lower temperature.
March 8, 2013
tattooball
611 posts
Composite bats are plastic resin and carbon fiber material, some also have fiber glass in them. The resin is what is going to do the flexing. So just like if you took 2 plastic spoons and put 1 in the sun and 1 in the refridgerator, the one in the sun will be more flexable. Same holds true for a bat. However composite bats cool rapidly. The temp that a bat will show better performance is above 125f.
March 8, 2013
JamesLG
300 posts

My question is do bat warmers benefit performance or durabuility? Or neither?

Thanks:

James
March 8, 2013
tattooball
611 posts
If it is cold out they will help with durability. Performance not so much, they may have a better feel but for them to perform better you would have to keep the hot.
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