Dans fans often ask why there is such a difference between hitting with wood and hitting with aluminum. It starts with the fact that aluminum bats are hollow, wood bats are solid. Because of the way weight is distributed, the balance point is closer to the handle for an aluminum bat than for a wood bat.
An aluminum bat is more efficient at hitting an inside pitch. In other words, the “sweet spot” of an aluminum bat is longer than that of a wood bat. For balls not hit squarely on the sweet spot, an aluminum bat is more “forgiving” and players can still make good contact on inside pitches. A wood bat, since it is solid, has most of the weight concentrated in the barrel, which means the center of gravity is further from the hands.
Because of these differences, college players, who have almost exclusively used aluminum, have an adjustment period when moving from aluminum to wood. In effect, either in summer leagues or professional baseball, players have to learn, or relearn, the proper way to hit an inside pitch.
This is clearly illustrated by looking at CICL statistics. From 1987 to 1989, the CICL used aluminum. The league averaged 12.3 runs/game and 18.0 hits/game. The League batting average was .288.
In 1990 the league switched to wood. Since that time, the league has averaged 9.1 runs/game (down 36%) and 16.2 hits/game (down 11%). The CICL batting average is now .254 (down 15%).
The pitcher's ERA’s, however, moved from 5.71 in 1987-89 to 3.82 (down 50%). The average game length went from 3.5 hours to 2.5 hours (down 40%). Good pitching and good defense dominate the game.
The Danville Dans open at home on Friday, June 6 against the league’s newest franchise, the Springfield Sliders. The game begins at 6:30 PM. Fireworks, sponsored by Danville Township and the Vermilion County Federation of Labor, will follow the game.