"Genuine Henry Aaron Louisville Slugger" Baseball Bat

"Genuine Henry Aaron Louisville Slugger" Baseball Bat

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
The Louisville Slugger is the most popular and longest running made bat in baseball history. It is said to be the “greatest American product ever made in the USA.” The Louisville Slugger is made by the Hillerich & Bradsby Company, Inc., in Louisville, Kentucky. Founded in 1859, the company began as a woodworking business, turning out products such as bedposts, bowling pins, bowling balls, handrails and porch columns. In 1884, the “Falls City Slugger” was introduced by a 17 year old, John Hillerich. While watching one of his favorite baseball players break his bat in a game, Hillerich offered to make him a new one. With that an industry was born. In 1884 the name was changed to “Louisville Slugger” and was registered as an official trademark. The company began making bats for everyone in baseball and soon established an extensive catalog of pattern bats. These were bats made to a player’s certain specifications and the formulas were kept in Hillerich & Bradsby’s vaults for future use. The bats made from these “patterns” were branded with the player’s name and signature. The pattern bat shown here is for Hank Aaron, who used a bat similar in shape to Babe Ruth’s but was 35 inches long and weighed only 33 ounces. Ruth’s bat was only an inch longer but was 9 ounces heavier than Aarons.
Currently not on view
Object Name
bat, baseball
Date made
thru person
Williams, Billy B.
associated person
Aaron, Hank
Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
place made
United States: Kentucky, Louisville
Physical Description
wood, ash (overall material)
overall: 35 in x 2 1/2 in; 88.9 cm x 6.35 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Hillerich & Bradsby Company Incorporated
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Sport and Leisure
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object