Monday, June 29, 2009

How Do You Know What to Buy?

Baseball is right up there with skiing, mountaineering, and golf in the "stuff" category. Players, and their parents, are always confronted with new bats, gloves, shoes, bags, performance undergarments, etc. To a certain extent word of mouth is how information on all the "stuff" that players need is passed along. Yes, you can look at catalogs to learn about all the new merchandise, but how do you know what works and what doesn't? How do you learn, maybe, the back story on certain glove designs or bat technologies? Most importantly, how do you know that the money you spend on something is going to be worth it?

To help with these questions, we've found a great resource that can be of service to folks on almost all levels of play. Baseball Equipment Review is filled with reviews and reference information on everything from cleats to training equipment. We love their wood bat section (and plan to provide guest reviews there soon).

One unique element of owner Brandon Bland's site is that there are numerous Google links built into pages that can take users directly to manufacturer's own sites. This allows the user to compare certain products easily and quickly without having to do a lot of work. It's a way to creatively use Google's Ad Sense system.

The site also has a useful set of recommendations for baseball equipment shopping and a very useful page on training aids that every Little League coach and dad of aspiring high school stars should bookmark and pay attention to.

If you know of other useful baseball equipment information sites, please send links along and I'll try to post information here at HittingWithWood.

In the mean time, I hope you're having good weather and that your coaches are encouraging kids to swing with lumber.

See you on the field.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Apology Post: A Personal Note to Readers

Since March, our family has been inundated by the initiation of Jesse Biddle's junior year of baseball with trips to Arizona State, Oregon State, North Carolina, and the University of Oregon (photo to left was taken in Portland at Game 2 of the renewed Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State, a cold and wet late March Saturday evening) -- all schools making scholarship bids to get the kid to pitch for them.

It turns out Jesse's choice of schools (after tremendous turmoil, he has verbally committed to George Horton's Oregon Ducks) was the easy part. We've been dealing with scouts, prospective advisers, media, focused training, lots of great high school games, and trying to match Jesse's schedule playing with the Philadelphia Senators with special opportunities to play in national showcases in June (USA Baseball Tournament of Stars) and August (East Coast Pro Showcase and Area Code Games).

This post, then, is an apology for not staying caught up on content. There's a lot going on in the wood vs. metal debate and I've dropped the ball.

At the same time, it's been an exciting and wild time watching this kid of ours move into the early phases of prime time as a player. Hopefully, now that the high school season is over and the summer schedule set, I'll do a better job reporting in these pages.

In the mean time, check out this short video clip that Comcast SportsNite did on Jess in April. More perspectives on hitting with wood soon...

See you on the field.