The History of Louisville Slugger
Hillerich & Bradsby
Legend has it that Bud, who played baseball him-self, slipped away from work one afternoon in 1884towatch Louisville’s Major League team, the LouisvilleEclipse. The team’s star, Pete Browning, mired in ahitting slump, broke his bat.Bud invited Browning over to his father’sshop to make him a new one. With Browningat his side giving advice, Bud handcrafted anew bat from a long slab of wood. Browning got threehits with it the next day. Browning told his teammates,which began a surge of professional ball players to theHillerich shop. Yet J. F. Hillerich had little interest inmaking bats; he saw the company’s future instairrailings, porch columns and swingingbutter churns. For a brief time in the 1880s,he even turned away ball players.
the rich,120-year history of the Louisville Slugger baseball batbegan in the talented hands of17-year-old John A. “Bud” Hillerich. Bud’s father, J.F.Hillerich, owned a growing woodworking shop in Louisville, Kentucky, in the1880s,when Bud began working for him as a14-year-old apprentice.
Baseball was the nation’s
most popular sport,
and legends like Babe Ruth,Ty Cobb and Lou Gehrig swung Louisville Sluggers.