Like many great athletes, New York Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is a creature of habit. One of his nerdiest habits is the way he takes case of his baseball bats. It makes total sense — of course one of the greatest hitters in MLB history takes pristine care of his bats. Tech nerds will appreciate the great lengths Ichiro goes to in order to make sure his bats are protected from excess moisture. Here’s more from The New York Times:
While most players dump their bats in cylindrical canvas bags when they are not using them, Suzuki neatly stacks his best eight bats inside a shockproof, moisture-free black case that he keeps close by his locker at home and on the road.
The case, which looks like a mini trunk, not only protects the bats from jostling and banging during transports, it also serves as a dehumidifier, drawing moisture out of the bats during the hot, humid American summers.
For Suzuki, a preeminent scientist in the field of hitting, regulating the amount of moisture in his bat is critical to the touch and feel of it. A hard, dry bat with just the right amount of water content has helped Suzuki become one of the best hitters in the game.
I’ve been an Ichiro fan since his Seattle Mariners days. His obsessive and technologically-charged bat care makes me an even bigger fan of his. Honestly though, I’m surprised that this isn’t done by every baseball player (except for Adam Dunn, who will swing at a baseball with anything he can get his hands on regardless of its condition). Wood is a finicky substance and its properties can be drastically altered by changes in humidity. I’m sure that traveling musicians like RPadholic N8R know what I’m talking about; I’ve felt how humidity can change the feel of guitars first hand. Many people consider Ichiro a surgical hitter. Naturally, his precision hitting requires his tools to be in tip-top shape at all times. Props to Ichiro for nerding up his bat care!