Batman in Montgomery

Posted by: Judd Davis - bio | email

When you hear the word Batman, most of us probably think of the caped crusader.  The super hero who fights crime in Gotham City with his side kick Robin.   In the city of Montgomery, we too have a "Bat Man" but this guy isn't fighting crime, he's showing his love for America's pastime, baseball.

"I've always been a baseball fan," said John Harrell.   Like most kids in his day he collected baseball cards.  As an adult he got back into it.  And then his card collection led to something else.   "I've got a collection of about 120 antique bats."   It all started when he wanted something to go along with a Hank Aaron baseball card.    "I ran across an auction site that had a Hank Aaron bat and I thought it would be nice to go with his card."    And that splintered into quite a collection.

With each piece of wood, comes a little piece of baseball history.   The collection includes everything from an old bunting bat that looks more like a paddle, to a town ball bat from the 1860's made with an old railroad tool.    Long before bat making factories, bat makers tried anything and everything trying to come up with the next best thing.   "They used everything from willow to ash, to walnut, to cherry, you name it."

While most of the bats sit on a rack, every once in awhile Harrell gives one a swing.  "You kind of feel like you're connecting with the history of the game."    Now he's like a batter waiting for that perfect pitch, looking for just the right bat to add to his collection.   John Harrell, a super slugger, out along County Road 12.

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.