Congressman Goes to Bat Over ‘Ping Dingers’
The debate of wooden vs. aluminum baseball bats has reached Congress.
The crack of a wooden bat is far more appealing to Democratic Rep. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois than the ping of an aluminum one, and he revealed his feelings on the matter in a speech before the House on Wednesday.
“I rise to condemn the desecration of a great American symbol. No, I am not referring to flag burning; I am referring to the baseball bat,” Durbin said in a brief speech.
Durbin, who represents the Springfield area, a district populated by fans of the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs, bemoaned the “extinction” of the wooden bat.
“Are we willing to hear the crack of a bat replaced by the dinky ping? Are we ready to see the Louisville Slugger replaced by the aluminum ping dinger? Is nothing sacred?” Durbin asked.
The congressman said baseball fans have been forced to endure “countless indignities by those who just can’t leave well enough alone.”
“Designated hitters, plastic grass, uniforms that look like pajamas, chicken clowns dancing on the baselines and, of course, the most heinous sacrilege, lights in Wrigley Field,” he said.
Durbin concluded that “if we forsake the great Americana of broken-bat singles and pine tar, we will have certainly lost our way as a nation.”
The congressman’s comments were prompted by a recent cover story in Sports Illustrated on the increased use of aluminum baseball bats.