Baseball and softball are two sports that stand out because there is no game clock, no halftime and no down markers. These competitions hold a special meaning to some because on any given day, truly anything can happen. An 11-10 contest one day could give way to a 2-1 nail-biter the next.
They are two sports allow for the not-so-athletic to occasionally shine above the chosen ones of sport, even if it’s just for a short time.
But for all the pomp and circumstance around these two treasured games, another truth is unmistakable: some people will stop at nothing to get that extra edge, even if it means cutting corners.
Jason Stewart still remembers the first time he thought bat altering was getting out of control. A few years ago, the Greenfield-Central head softball coach heard back from one of his assistants who had attended a tournament in Greensburg.
“There was a man out in the parking lot rolling bats for people for $20. This was at a 10-and-under girls’ softball tournament,” recalled Stewart, who just completed his seventh season at G-C. “It’s getting insane. It’s becoming a risk factor because these bats are becoming entirely too hot.”
Brock, who requested only his first name be used, started rolling bats six years ago. A lifer on the diamond, Brock has been playing slow-pitch softball for many years now. He first encountered the practice of bat rolling while browsing the internet and decided to give it a try.
“I didn’t want to send my bat to somebody, so I bought a bat roller and tried it out with my bat,” said the 39-year-old. “It worked.”