The Louisville Slugger Timeline


1884
The Hillerich family makes the first professional bat for Louisville Eclipse player Pete Browning, whose nickname is “the Louisville Slugger.”

1894
“Louisville Slugger” is registered with the U.S. government as an official trademark for the bats made by Hillerich.

1905
One of baseball’s first superstars, Honus “The Flying Dutchman” Wagner, signs a contract with Hillerich. His autograph on a Slugger marks the first time a pro athlete endorses a product.

1908
Ty Cobb signs on for a line of autographed Sluggers.

1915
Louisville Slugger debuts a Youth-Size model.

1919
The company, renamed ­Hillerich & Bradsby Co., launches its first national advertising campaign.

1949
The first Silver Bat Award (aka Louisville Slugger Award) is presented to American League batting champ George Kell of the Detroit Tigers and National League winner Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

1970
Pittsburgh-based Aluminum Company of America (now ­Alcoa Inc.) manufactures the first aluminum Louisville Sluggers.

2006
Louisville Slugger produces Pink Bats for MLB players to use on Mother’s Day, raising money for breast–cancer research and inspiring an annual tradition.

2007
Ken Griffey Jr. receives the first Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Living Legend Award.