View Full Version : Game Used -vs- Batting Practice bats?

10-11-2007, 10:07 PM
Hello all,

I just picked up a bat and am curious how to tell if it is a BP bat or a regular GU bat. I heard that BP bats typically have green ball marks on them. The bat I just got does not have green ball marks, but they are not like royal blue ball marks either. See the pics below and tell me what you think....





10-11-2007, 10:25 PM
Usually, there's almost no way to tell the difference. In the past, some teams mixed in practice balls with green ink, so BP bats would have green ink transfer. By and large, though, most teams use regular baseballs for BP.

Other than green ink, here are some possible telltale signs a bat was a BP bat: evidence of tape being wrapped (and removed) around the barrel; extremely heavy use; heavier weight than normal for the player (some guys use heavier bats for BP); a brand not typically used by a player in games (such as Piazza, who used Rawlings for BP and Mizuno in games); it has a finish not typically used by the player (like a guy who uses black bats in games and natural bats in BP -- easy to tell them apart); ball marks on both sides of the barrel; it has different characteristics than game bats (like Jim Edmonds, who tapes the handle on game bats but not BP bats); it's corked (hello, Sammy!); it has "BP" on the knob (duh), etc. I'm sure I'm missing a few.

10-11-2007, 10:54 PM
Obviously there is not heavy use. But there are some deep seam marks and light bluish ball marks. It is a Daric Barton LVS M9 bat. I know this year he used Rawlings in all the pics I have seen. but this may have been a bat he used prior as I have seen pics of him with LVS M9's. It has no evidence of it being taped and it has the typical pine tar on the handle only (which is a Barton trait. Also, Barton tends to hit balls with the area below where his name is branded, and thats where all the marks tend to be.
So I guess I will never know if this is a BP bat, but based on what I see, I am guessing it probably isn't.

Brian B

10-11-2007, 11:31 PM
You mentioned that the ball marks were not the "royal" blue. I have noticed that sometimes the Minor League balls leave a darker blue ball mark than the Major League balls. Any chance that he might have used this in the Minors?

10-12-2007, 12:18 AM
Maybe a minor league player got some bats from Barton and was using them in the minors.

10-12-2007, 12:19 AM
I am guessing thats where it was used. The last time I saw him with a LVS M9 was maybe 1-2 years ago. Recently I have only seen him with Natural Rawlings or a two tone (Black and natural) Rawlings in the Minors and Majors. Still, I am pretty confident it is game used as opposed to BP. The ball marks are not darker, but lighter than the dark blue I have seen on some bats. Anyways, I am just happy to have some of his bats. I have been looking forever. I also picked up a Sam bat of his as well!

10-12-2007, 12:22 AM
It is very nice no matter where it was used.

As long as you like it that is all the really matters in the long run

10-12-2007, 12:32 AM
I am pretty certain that it was used by him. It matches other bats I have that were used by him, and it matches the use on other bats I have seen. Typically, Barton hits the ball in the bottom half of the bat (when the bat is held horizontally and the name area is facing forward.) It has the typical pine tar application from Barton as well. He does not apply a ton or any in the middle of the bat. He just has some in the handle area.
On top of all that, the source I got the bats from knows Barton's agent personally and they got the bats from him.

10-12-2007, 01:01 AM
I was just curious as the ball marks were not as dark as I have seen, so I was wondering if it was the green ball marks.

10-12-2007, 03:13 PM
this is a very interesting topic. i have a few bats that i obtained from a player directly after a game in which he broke them and noticed a difference in the ball marks. specifically, the foul tips from actual game balls that are rubbed with the blackburn mud can leave a darker, not as pristine white mark as those balls used in batting practice. of course this is a very subtle and i am sure not consistent difference, that is easier to identify on black barrell bats. have any of you noticed this or have i sniffed to much wood repairing glue? - joe

10-12-2007, 04:30 PM
Does my Cano bat look to you guys that it may be BP.

10-12-2007, 04:44 PM
I've had the thought that bats that have deadwood were more than likely used at some point in BP.

08-27-2009, 08:04 PM
Is there any way to distinguish between a truly game used bat and a BP bat?

Color ball impressions - Is there a difference from BP and game use balls?

Ball impression grouping - Tons of ball impressions grouped tightly together. Signs of good game use or more of a sign of multiple hits, in rapid succession, from BP?

08-27-2009, 09:09 PM
Signs a bat might be a BP bat...
Heavier use exhibited on the bat than is typical for a player's normal gamer.
Green ink transfer (some BP balls have green ink).
Ink transfer where you can discern the words "Practice" or "BLEM" (a game reject).
Signs of tape having been applied and removed around the barrel.
Some players use different brands, different finishes (gamer may be black while BP bat is natural) or bats of different (typically heavier) weights for BP.

08-27-2009, 09:16 PM
Do teams still use the green-ink baseballs? I've made this contraption that fishes out the baseballs caught between the wall and seats at Turner Field in batting practice, and in the past 6-7 games I've gotten about 50 baseballs. Not one of them is the green-ink ones. Only about 3 or 4 were the practice baseballs (with blue ink). The rest were regular major league baseballs. Atleast a quarter of the balls had "practice" stamped on the sweet spot, and when the Dodgers were in town, their baseballs had "DODGERTOWN" stamped in blue on the sweetspot.

08-28-2009, 01:39 AM

The next green ink BP baseball I catch at either Chicago ballpark will be the first.

Dave M.
Chicago area

08-28-2009, 02:39 AM
I have noticed a few of my pre 1990 bats appear to have been used both in games and then in BP. I don't know if it was a resource issue at the time or players just stuck with a bat they liked the feel of. Back then they weren't thinking "Now that it has slight grain separation I need to put it away so I get another $200" I do know first hand from being along the dugouts at BP in the Kingdome several Mariners would use the same bats in BP and in games.

08-28-2009, 06:07 AM
I've read and seen at least three places that teams re-use some game-used balls as BP balls after they've gotten too soiled to stay in the game. The four BP balls I have ( three from spring training) include three regular MLB balls, though one was definitely not game-used ( clean, no mud rub-up). The other two I'm not sure of. The remaining BP ball was a MLB ball with lighter blue than regular MLB balls, was stamped " practice" and had " White Sox" hand-lettered on it. I found it in the Charlotte Knights' store where it was wrongly labelled "game-used", but the GM later told me it was probably one they'd gotten from Chicago that was used in White Sox BP.

However, a Pete Orr bat I bought in 2007 from the Braves, after Orr had gone back to the Minors, has a green impression that looks like it was a small stamped 3-digit number, now smeared, ending in "54" or "94". Any idea what that could be?

08-28-2009, 07:43 AM
would the green inked balls be the ones they'd be more apt to use in the batting cages inside...not outside during regular batting practice before the game.

06-24-2010, 01:46 PM
Can you tell the difference? What do you look for?

06-24-2010, 01:59 PM
Many players will use different model/brand bat for BP and game use.

Sometimes you cant tell. BP bats are sold as gamers all the time.