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LOUISVILLE SLUGGER

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Reference

1900 Louisville Slugger
 Bat Ad
1900 Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats 
Simmons Hardware Co.
Catalog Ad

1914 Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats
1914 Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats 
Drake Hardware Co.
Mail Order Catalog

1922 Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats
1922 Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat 
Hibbard Spencer Bartlet Co.
Wholesale catalog

1939 Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats
1939 Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats
Lowe & Campbell Catalog

1950 Louisville Slugger
Baseball bats
1950 Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats 
Catalog Page

1959 Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats
1959 Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats 
Catalog Page

1964 Louisville Slugger Baseball bats
1964 Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats 
Catalog Page

1970 Louisville Slugger Autograph Bats
1970 Loisville Slugger Ad 
Catalog Page

1970 Louisville Slugger
Little League bats
1970 Louisville Slugger Little Leaguue Bats 
 Catalog Page

Louisville Slugger Bat Dating Guide 
LOUISVILLE SLUGGER BAT DATING GUIDE
  Hillerich & Bradsby Co. Louisville Slugger has used different oval center brands in their history. Below are the ovals from different eras for professional model, top of the line, and inexpensive store model bats. By matching the samples with the logo on your bat, you could approximately date your Louisville Slugger to that era.Variations in branding for 125 professional model bats could narrow down the years, as described by visiting the link provided.  

Sample   Manufacturing Period
Description

1897 - 1911 J.F. HILLERERICH & SON TRADE MARK   
1897 - 1911 Bat Label Manufacturing Period
This is the earliest label used. The center brand Reads: "J.F. HILLERICH & SON" with "- MADE BY -" above it, and "LOUISVILLE SLUGGER" at the very top. Below is a simple line with "LOUISVILLE, KY. " at the bottom.

Outside and below the oval has the word "TRADEMARK"

"C0." is added after "J.F. HILLERICH & SON" starting in 1911.

1911 - 1916 J.F. HILLERERICH & SON Co Oval   
1911 - 1916 Bat Label Manufacturing Period
 Also nicknamed a "dash-dot dash"  bat by collectors this center brand features the addition of  "Co." and now reads "J.F. HILLERICH & SON Co." sandwiched between a pair of  "dash-dot dash" lines. There is also a variation with "- MADE BY -" above "J.F. HILLERICH & SON Co." with the  "dash-dot dash" below.

 "LOUISVILLE SLUGGER" is at the very top of the oval with "LOUISVILLE KY. at the bottom. Outside and below the oval reads: "TRADE MARK REG U.S. PAT. OFF."

1916 - 1929  HILLERERICH & BRADSBY Co Oval   
1916 - 1931 Bat Label Manufacturing Period
In 1916 Frank Bradsby joins the company and Bradsby is added to the company name. The oval mow reads: "HILLERICH & BRADSBY Co."  with the catalog number directly above it. (pictured is catalog designation 125) "LOUISVILLE SLUGGER" is at the very top of the oval. "MADE IN U.S.A." replaced dash-dot-dash in 1921, and is directly below "HILLERICH & BRADSBY Co." with "LOUISVILLE KY. at the very bottom.

Outside and below the oval still reads:
 "TRADE MARK REG U.S. PAT. OFF."

1930 - 1947  HILLERERICH & BRADSBY Co Oval   
1930 - 1947 Bat Label Manufacturing Period
The 1930-1947 Center Brand remains exactly the same from the period before but outside and below the oval is changed and now Reads: "TRADE MARK REG."

Inside the oval reads: "HILLERICH & BRADSBY Co."  with the catalog number directly above it. (pictured is catalog designation 125) "LOUISVILLE SLUGGER" is at the very top of the oval. "MADE IN U.S.A." is directly below "HILLERICH & BRADSBY Co." with "LOUISVILLE KY. at the very bottom.

1948 - 1963 HILLERERICH & BRADSBY Co Oval   
1948 - 1963 Bat Label Manufacturing Period
The 1948-1963 Center Brand remains exactly the same from the period before but outside and below the oval is changed and now Reads: "REG. U.S. PAT. OFF."

Inside the oval reads: "HILLERICH & BRADSBY Co."  with the catalog number directly above it. (pictured is catalog designation 125) "LOUISVILLE SLUGGER" is at the very top of the oval. "MADE IN U.S.A." is directly below "HILLERICH & BRADSBY Co." with "LOUISVILLE KY. at the very bottom.

1964 - 1980 HILLERERICH & BRADSBY Co oval   
1964 - 1979 Bat Label Manufacturing Period
The 1964-1979 Center Brand remains exactly the same from the period before but the Registered Trademark is added directly after the words  "LOUISVILLE SLUGGER" at the top. In 1973 the Registered Trademark is added over the "d" in Powerized (not shown here) Outside and below the oval "REG. U.S. PAT. OFF." is removed and left blank. The center reads: "HILLERICH & BRADSBY Co."  with the catalog number directly above it. (pictured is catalog designation 125) "MADE IN U.S.A." is directly below "HILLERERICH & BRADSBY Co." with "LOUISVILLE KY. at the very bottom.

1980 -  2015 Louisville Slugger Oval   
1980 - 2012 Bat Label Manufacturing Period
 The center brand goes through major changes in 1980. "HILLERICH & BRADSBY Co." is removed from the oval and is replaced with  "Louisville, Slugger" with the Registered Trademark after the top of the lowercase "r" The catalog number is directly above at the top. (pictured is catalog designation 125) "LOUISVILLE, KENTUKY MADE IN USA" in small print is at the very bottom.

There are other variations of this label through 2000-2015 but the sample is just showing the basic design of the oval. A breakdown of the different labels will be added soon.
 This 1980-2012 bat labeling period is generalized to the use of this style center brand. Labels can be can be narrowed  down to smaller eras and I will add the info in the near future. The 1980-1983 label measures 4 1/2" across. The 1983-1989 period is the same as the 1980-1983 center brand but the oval was made smaller, and measures 3 1/2" across

2015 - Present Loisville Slugger Oval   
2013 - Present Bat Label Manufacturing Period
Thirty-three years since their last change, Louisville Slugger redesigns their logo.

The closed oval is now open and elongated. The letters "LS" is squeezed in between the outer and inner boarders, at the top.  the Newly designed  "LOISVILLE Slugger" logo dominates the oval with the the Registered Trademark after the top of the lowercase "r" Below at the very bottom reads: "MADE IN THE U.S.A. LOUISVILLE KY." in small print.
 
Inexpensive Store Model Bats with H&B Center Brand
Some bats have an H&B logo brand in the oval trademark, rather than Hillerich & Bradsby - Louisville Slugger. The H&B brand denotes a lower grade and lower priced retail bat. These bats were produced since 1932. The labels pictured below are dated to the first catalog appearance and could over lap the new label during the transition year .labels pictured below are dated to the first catalog appearance and could over lap the new label during the transition year. labels pictured below are dated to the first catalog appearance and could over lap the new label during the transition year.
Pre-1932 Inexpensive Store Model Bat logo   
1928 - 1938 Bat Label Manufacturing Period
Before the H&B logo label, the name of the model appeared in the center oval, with the catalog number below, and "MADE IN U.S.A." above. "HILLERERICH & BRADSBY CO" appeared outside the oval at the top, "LOUISVILLE K.Y. outside the oval at the bottom. The oval was sandwiched between two question mark like (one inverted) ornate designs. The sample shown is the "Cracker Jack" No. 02. Other models with this oval design included the "Safe Hit" and "Junior League" models. The earlier bats features a decal on the barrel.

1932 - 1951 H&B Bat Label   
1932 - 1952 Bat Label Manufacturing Period
The "H&B" Logo center brand first appears in catalogs in 1932. Inside the oval reads: "HILLERERICH & BRADSBY CO." at the top; "MADE IN U.S.A. " above "H&B" followed by the catalog number, below.  (pictured is "NO. 9") and "LOUISVILLE K.Y." at the bottom sandwiched between "f'" like ornate designs.

1952-1959 H&B Bat Label   
1952 -1959 Bat Label Manufacturing Period
This H&B logo center brand is identical to the previous label but the catalog number is now above "H&B". Inside the oval reads: "HILLERERICH & BRADSBY CO." at the top; the catalog number  above "H&B" followed by "MADE IN U.S.A. " below, and "LOUISVILLE K.Y." at the bottom sandwiched between "f'" like ornate designs.

1960 1963 H&B Bat Label   
1960-1963 Bat Label Manufacturing Period
The "H&B" Logo is redesigned from a simple line to a block type font. The "NO." that appeared before the catalog number is no longer used. The "f'" like ornate design is also removed. Otherwise the information in the oval remains the same. "HILLERERICH & BRADSBY CO." at the top ;the catalog number above "H&B" followed by "MADE IN U.S.A. " below. and "LOUISVILLE K.Y." at the bottom.

1964 - 1979 H&B Bat Label   
1964-1979 Bat Label Manufacturing Period
This H&B logo center brand is identical to the previous label but the Registered Trademark symbol  is added to the right of the "H&B" logo. HILLERERICH & BRADSBY CO." is at the top; the catalog number above "H&B" followed by "MADE IN U.S.A. " below, and "LOUISVILLE K.Y." at the bottom.

1980 -1999 H&B Bat Label   
1980-2015 Bat Label Manufacturing Period
The "H&B" Logo and oval is redesigned . HILLERERICH & BRADSBY CO. is removed from the top and is replace with the catalog No. The ampersand (&) is lowered and halfway below the "H" and "B" witch is also brought closer together. The Registered Trademark symbol is to the right of the H&B logo but now at the top. "LOUISVILLE SLUGGER" is at the bottom to the left of the ampersand, & "MADE IN U.S.A." to the right.

NOTES:
 
what does the 125 stand for on a Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat
 What Does the 125 stand for? -  The number that appears in the center brand is the catalog number, used to order bats. The "125" is the catalog number designated for Professional and high quality store model bats. The highest grade of wood is reserved for all 125 baseball bats. Before the 125 the No. 40 was the highest quality line of baseball bats in the Louisville Slugger catalog. The 125 is not the model number. Louisville slugger began using model numbers on the knob in 1943 then moving the model number to the barrel in 1977.

The "Powerized" process was patented by the Hillerich & Bradsby Co. in 1931 and has pat. pending beneath the stamp. They introduced the "Powerized and Bone Rubbed" logo for the 1932 season and in 1933 and 1934 you will see it stamped "Powerized and Oil Tempered" which usually is a very light heat foil type print. Beginning in 1935 until present, they go with just "Powerized" The Powerized" process is to harden the surface of the bat much like the bone rubbed finish of the 1920's. A 1938 Louisville Slugger ad states: "'Powerizing' is a treatment by a special patented process that reduces chipping and peeling to a minimum, increasing the driving of the bat and prolongs it's life"
Bone Rubbed Bone Rubbed Powerized and Bome Rubbed Poerized and Oil Tempered
Hand Boned Rubbed Trade-Mark Stamp. Bone-Rubbed is common to bats made in the 1920's "Bone-Rubbed which closes pores of wood and gives a harder hitting surface."
1934 H&B Catalog
  The "Powerized and Bone Rubbed" logo stamping is unique to the 1932 season.  1933 & 1934 "Powerized and Oil Tempered" is stamped, usually as a very light heat foil type print.
Powerized  Powerized registered Trademark (R) Oil Tempered Flame Tempered
In 1935 until the present, they go with just "Powerized" In 1973 the Registered Trademark is added over the "d" in Powerized Oil Tempered a process used since the beginning appeared on the barrel before migrating to the oval Flame Tempered a process of drying and hardening the wood with lower grade baseball bats.

Hillerich & Bradsby Company Baseball Bat Timeline
  • 1884 Bud Hillerich turns the first Louisville Slugger bat ever made.
  • 1905 Honus Wagner signs a contract making him the first player to have his autograph on Louisville Slugger bats.
  • 1911 The company name is changed to “J.F. Hillerich & Son Co.” .
  • 1916  Frank Bradsby becomes a partner. The name of the company is change to “Hillerich & Bradsby Company.”
  • 1916 Hillerich & Bradsby introduces the "125" line of Baseball bat to the market.
  • 1931 The patent is granted for "Powerized" a process that "reduces chipping and pealing"
  • 1970 H&B contracts Alcoa Aluminum Company to manufacture the first aluminum bat for Louisville Slugger.
  • 2006 Louisville Slugger teams up with Major League Baseball to produce pink bats for professional players to use on Mother’s Day, raising money for breast cancer research and inspiring an annual tradition
  • 2013 Thirty-three years since their last change, Louisville Slugger redesigns their logo.
  • 2014 Never done in its 130 year history, Louisville Slugger retires Derek Jeter’s famous P72 Baseball bat.
  • 2016 Wilson Sporting Goods acquires the Louisville Slugger brand from Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
 
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