Some of you may have noticed that big leaguers and players in the minors, who are swinging maple and birch bats, have a black dot on their bat's handle.
A few years ago, there was much concern over Big Leaguers breaking bats at higher rates; primarily maple bats. This was not surprising as a number of players wanted bigger barrels and thinner handles. Big barrel + small handle diameter = a much less durable bat.
At the same time, some bat manufacturers were using wood that didn’t have a nice straight grain, which is critical to making a quality wood bat. So, the black dot you see is actually an MLB required drop of black ink that is applied by bat makers. When the ink spreads down the grain, a measuring device is used (provided by the Commissioner’s Office) to insure that the ink has not spread more than 3 degrees to the left or to the right of center. If it spreads beyond 3 degrees in either direction, it is out of specification. This step has helped reduce the breakage of pro maple and birch bats, as companies not using the straightest of grains for their professional bats were made to conform, or were eliminated.
Phoenix Bats uses woods for ALL of it's bats from a mill that ensures all wood meets the test for straight grain. Logs are split from top to bottom, allowing our mill to visually inspect each piece of wood we receive. With this guarantee, while there is really no need to ink dot bats for non pro ball customers, it's an option Phoenix provides to give you that “Big Leaguer” look. It's important to note that ink dot placement requirements result in the Phoenix logo and engraving rotating 45 degrees from their traditional position on the bat.
For those players that want the Pro style logo placement and ink dot, we align the ink dot so that you have a visual reference point as to how the bat should be positioned when making contact with the ball. For ink-dotted bats, the ink dot should be facing the sky (or the ground) at point of contact.