Offered is a vintage 1950s Louisville Slugger poster describing the various techniques to keep one’s bat in pristine condition. Hillerich & Bradsby Company’s poster uses a cartoon athlete with his wooden baseball bat to give directions to amateur baseball players on the proper care of a quality bat, lowering the risk of breaking the wood.
Wooden baseball bats were the preferred bats until the 1970s when metal bats became more practical. Wooden bats often broke or splintered when misused, demanding informative posters such as this one to demonstrate proper care. The Louisville Slugger, by the Hillerich & Bradsby Company, was the nation’s top manufacturer of baseball bats for decades and still remains one of the industry’s most popular companies. The company began after John A. Hillerich, a 17-year-old boy, offered to make the baseball superstar Pete Browning a new bat in his father’s workshop when the athlete split his own bat during the local game. Hillerich constructed a bat according to Browning’s specifications and the next day, the player broke out of his previous slump enticing his teammates to request Hillerich make them the same bat. Convinced the future of his shop lay with stair railings, columns, and balustrades, Hillerich’s father refused to make baseball bats part of his normal work. Eventually, the carpenter relented and in 1894 the wooden Hillerich bat formally adopted the name “Louisville Slugger” after Pete Browning’s famous nickname. Only 30 years later, the Louisville Slugger was a household name.
Overall good condition. The poster, printed in the 1950s, has some wear and light discoloration along the bottom edge but has undergone conservation treatment. All text and illustrations are clearly visible on the black, white, and red poster. The work has been framed according to archival standards in a custom built black frame.
Framed Dimensions: 25 ½” H x 20 ½” W x 1 ½” D
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