John A. “Bud” Hillerich
According to legend, 17-year-old John A. “Bud” Hillerich was an avid fan of the Louisville Eclipse major league baseball team. In 1884, he watched as the team’s star hitter, Pete Browning, broke his favorite bat in the midst of a hitting slump. Bud reportedly offered to take Browning back to his father’s woodworking shop and make a new bat for his hero. Browning agreed. And, with his guidance, Bud created a custom bat for him out of a piece of white ash. The story goes that Browning, known as “The Louisville Slugger” because of his phenomenal hitting power, got three hits with the new bat in his next game. That bat became the forerunner of the legendary Louisville Slugger that’s used in ballparks all over the country. It also helped spark the development of a company that would become synonymous with America’s national pastime. For more information about Bud, click here.
Sponsor: Hillerich and Bradsby