One of the first things you might notice about your new Chandler Bat is the black ink dot on the handle of the wood. But before we explain what that is, we first need to explain why it’s there. Back in 2009, concerns about the safety and durability of wood bats, particularly at the Major League level, intensified. Bats were breaking at an alarming rate, and sharp shards were flying through the air, endangering the health of players and spectators.
David Chandler saw this problem, and became committed to producing more tolerant bats for both professional as well as amateur players. In addition, Major League Baseball mandated that bats used by professional players undergo extensive testing to eliminate multi-piece breakages, caused by poor “slope of grain.” Bats with poor slope of grain tend to cause the barrel to go flying through the air when they break. Strong bats with good slope of grain, however, will only ever “rupture” after extended periods of use. These ruptures generally occur along the handle as a result of getting jammed or striking a ball off of the tip of the barrel.
Finally, we return to the purpose of that ink dot. To test whether or not a bat has good slope of grain, we take a drop of black ink and place it onto the handle after the bat has been sanded down. It is often hard to see the way in which the grain runs on hard maple, so when the ink soaks into the wood, it will “bleed” along the grain. If it bleeds straight, then we know that we have made you a bat with a strong, durable, safe piece of wood.
Chandler does this with every bat it produces, whether it is for a high school player or a Major League superstar. If your bat fails the ink test, we trash it and start your bat from scratch with a brand new piece of wood. That ink dot is proof of the promise that we make to every player – that your bat is the strongest piece of wood available today. It serves as a reminder that we stand by our product, and we will not send it out the door unless it meets industry as well as our own standards.