WASHINGTON: A sporting goods industry-associated group called the Don't Take My Bat Away Coalition (DTMBA) is bolstering outreach efforts in its fight against several proposed and enacted state bans against the use of aluminum bats in amateur baseball.
The group formed in late April in reaction to a New York City council ban on high school sports teams' use of aluminum bats, which it declared more dangerous than wooden bats based on relative "hitting power."
DTMBA recently launched www.DTMBA.com as a central source of information on government bans of non-wood bats, including information on how visitors can join the coalition and lobby against the bans.
The Herald Group developed the Web site and is managing grassroots outreach for the coalition, while Duffy Public Relations Strategies is providing strategic communications and media relations. Its founder Trent Duffy is serving as chief spokesman. The coalition recently announced its first state chapter, in New Jersey, whose legislature is also considering banning aluminum bats.
The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association is a prime backer of DTMBA, but Duffy said the group is not just an industry coalition, as members also include American Legion Baseball, Little League Baseball, and the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Duffy stressed that the group is not promoting the use of aluminum over wood, but simply trying to preserve free choice for players, leagues, and schools that prefer the bigger "sweet spots" of aluminum bats.
While aluminum bats used in the 1990s did indeed have more power than wooden bats, they have since been re-engineered to make their power roughly equal, according to the coalition.
"Most people, when they hear 'metal bats,' think of the College World Series from the late 1990s when you had scores of 24-22," Duffy said. "They don't know that today's bats are regulated so that they hit comparable to wood."