George Brett takes a swing with bamboo bats
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LAS VEGAS -- Most of the wheeling and dealing at baseball’s winter meetings is taking place at the Bellagio hotel and casino. But across town, Hall of Famer George Brett has been quietly touting his wares at a baseball trade show in the massive Las Vegas Convention Center.
For 11 years Brett and his brothers Bobby, Ken and John have been part of a baseball bat company that makes and markets bamboo bats, which the company heralds as environmentally friendly and the three-time batting champion lauds as being hard as a rock.
‘It’s a strong bat. It doesn’t break,’ said Brett, whose team used them in a celebrity ‘Home Run Derby.’
‘We won,’ Brett said of the contest.
The bats, which have a bamboo core, a maple cover and a Kevlar coating on the handle, are not approved for major league use but they are legal in the low minors. And, coincidentally, the Bretts own the Spokane affiliate in the Northwest League, which allows the bat.
But the players don’t get the bats, which sell for $55, free.
‘[Heck] no!,’ Brett said. ‘I’ve got three kids, two dogs and a cat [to support].’
-- Kevin Baxter