Todd Bargman 1990
I didn’t take too much ribbing from these bats. I had met Bill Steel, the main man at Rawlings who made all the bats for major leaguers, in 1988 while I was in Utica. Several of the guys made the voyage to Dolgelville NY. Bill took us down into the main bat making area and gave the full tour of the place. I saw hundreds of old school bats from many years prior, as players had sent them in to be duplicated. I had ordered bats from Bill a few times prior to 1990, so he knew my voice when i’d call for lumber. I have stood and watched him stamp names on bats, mine as well. Very cool process as all Rawlings stripes were hand painted. This season was the first one where bats had the team names on the bottom under the players name. I pulled the first one out, a WJ21 named for Wally Joyner. It felt perfect, 34 inches 32 ounces, only problem was, Angels was misspelt!!! I was now playing for the Angles…I called Bill and he was very embarrassed by the mistake and wanted me to scratch it off, no dice there as i wouldn’t scratch the hitting surface like that. The boys in the locker room were all over me. It was a sign of things to come as i hit like an animal in spring training but was released on the last day of camp. This bat shows all of those hits, seem marks and ball marks are all over this one. On that team in training camp was Tim Salmon and Jim Edmonds. Jim, after the first day of camp, had such a bad sun burn, as we all did, but his was the worst i’ve ever seen. His lips looked as if they had been melted off. The next day, we all had zinc sun screen all over our necks and lips, and had to tape the collars of our jerseys so it would touch the burned area’s. We looked like a bunch of white lipped maniacs out there!!