It's a big step in a young baseball player's life when he graduates from a league that uses aluminum or composite baseball bats to one that uses wood bats, such as from Brew City Woodbats. This change will not only give the young athlete the satisfying "crack" that occurs when the wood bat and leather baseball collide, but also make him feel a step closer to the big leagues. If you know someone — a child, a nephew, or even a grandchild — who has just made this jump in his amateur athletic career, it's nice to put a small care package together that contains items he will use with his maple wood bat. Here are some suggestions.
Unlike aluminum and composite bats that have rubber grips around the handles, wood bats can initially be slick and difficult to hold. Grippy batting gloves will help, but the young player likely already has these. A better choice is a stick of pine tar, which the player will slide up and down the handle of the bat. This sticky product will make it much easier to hold onto the bat, which is conducive to a powerful swing.
Although some players prefer to grip the handle of their maple wood bats directly, others prefer to have some sort of padded grip. Another worthwhile choice for your care package is a roll of padded grip tape. This thick tape, which is wrapped around the handle of the bat, makes it more comfortable to hold — and it will also help to deaden the painful vibrations that can come from not hitting a ball squarely. Grip tape is available in a multitude of colors, so you should be able to find a roll that matches the player's uniform.
In the past, players would simply write their uniform number of the knob of their wood bat to be able to easily identify it when it's among other bats in the dugout. Today, many companies produce custom decals that take the place of permanent marker. Find a company online and use its online building tool to come up with a knob decal that will suit the player you know. In addition to the uniform number, it could even include the player's last name. One of the best parts of this process is that you can customize the decals to match the player's uniform. The company will then produce as many decals as you want — they're self-adhesive and typically come printed on a sheet.