Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Baseball Bats and War Hero

It started raining Sunday afternoon just as we hit I-75 and it didn't stop. We spent all day in the RV on Monday except for Ted's run to fill up with diesel. When I awoke on Tuesday I wasn't sure if we were leaving. It was in the 50s and raining pretty hard. When Ted got up he cranked the antenna down so I figured it was moving day.

We headed west and south to Shepherdsville, south of Louisville. We were delayed about an hour by an accident on I-64. Something rode the guard rail for a long time before plunging over the embankment. We could see the tops of big cranes that were put in place to retrieve whatever it was and there were HazMat trucks all over the place with stacks of soaking mats. Maybe we'll hear something on the news. I don't think it was a beer truck!

Things are really booked up and we've had difficulty getting reservations especially over weekends. Between Gospel Fests, Pumpkin Festivals and the Bourbon Trail festival, everything is booked. But when we arrived, we learned two RVs had departed and we could stay through the weekend. Yippee!

After a bite to eat we left for the Louisville Slugger factory. Here is the large bat at the front of the factory.

We were not allowed to take pictures on the tour but were allowed to in the museum.

The first thing we did was order a 30" natural colored bat with Sam's full name engraved on it. I'm sure he'll be as excited to receive it as Ted will be to give it. It was ready for us when we were finished with our visit and leaving.

Next up was the factory tour where we saw billets (wood cylinders) shaped into bats first by hand (demonstration) and then lathe (current way to make them). There are different machines for minor leagues and major leagues. A major league player will use between 60-120 bats per season. They are made precisely each time for that player. The ball team pays for them, not the player. We saw a demonstration of how the logos are burned onto the bats, then they are sanded and dipped in whatever finish ordered and hung to dry. We were given a mini bat when we left.

We then saw a movie that had clips of famous players and important events that mentioned or showed Louisville Slugger bats. We finished up at the museum. Ted was allowed to use Johnny Bench's bat (he had to put on gloves) so I could take his picture at home plate.

I was interested in Babe Ruth's bat from 1927 where he notched the logo for every home run he hit.

And being from Cincinnati, I stood on tiptoes to get a picture of Pete Rose's signature that was used on his bats as it appears on the wall of several thousand signatures. Ted attended Western Hills High School with Pete.

Last thing we did was stand behind the "catcher" and watched a ball hurled at us at 90 mph. I couldn't even follow it so "keeping my eye on the ball" was out of the question! It was a great tour and an enjoyable afternoon.

Today we drove to Fort Knox to visit the Patton Museum.

It is under renovation but the halls we saw were very enjoyable. The three things of interest to me were the jacket he wore during the Battle of the Bulge because we toured all that area in 2009.

This picture of Patton astride the Lipizzaner stallion that was to be a gift to the Emperor of Japan from Hitler.

We saw this picture and read the story (watch Disney's "Miracle of the White Stallions") at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria. We also saw Patton's grave at the American cemetery in Luxembourg.

This is the car in which Patton was injured and subsequently died from his injuries.

It has been restored.

They also have his Jeep, and a portrait of him.

There were photos of him starting when he was a baby and continuing throughout his career. His own words, including bad grammar and poor spelling, graced each photo. He had an illustrious career and I don't believe we've had a leader like him since.

We stopped for an ice cream, then went to the grocery and finished up at Zappo's Shoe Outlet where we both found shoes for our next European vacation and I tossed in an extra pair of sandals!

Sometimes you're the Louisville Slugger baby, sometimes you're the ball. Sometimes it all comes together. ~ Lyrics from The Bug

The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his. ~ George S. Patton

1 comment:

Rick and Brenda said...

The first quote was a song by Mary Chapin-Carpenter.
Looks like you all are having a great time.