Scooter Gennett’s unique bat takes its place in Hall of Fame

Written by: Craig Muder

The Reds’ Scooter Gennett had no doubt that his chosen bats, manufactured by Show, were of top quality.

But after his four-home run game against the Cardinals on June 6, Gennett has the stats to prove it. And thanks to Gennett’s generosity, the Hall of Fame collection has a truly unique piece of lumber.

Gennett, the Reds’ infielder/outfielder, became just the 17th player in big league history to hit four home runs in one game. Gennett began the game with a first-inning RBI single, then homered in his next four at-bats, becoming the first player since the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton in 2012 to go deep four times in one contest.

“The fans were going nuts, but I was just trying to be as calm as possible,” said Gennett, who turned in his record-setting performance in front of 18,620 appreciative Reds fans at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. “It was an amazing night, and (Cardinals pitcher John Brebbia) actually went after me in that last at-bat, trying to get me out, so it was pretty cool that he did that.

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“Sometimes you hit the ball hard and it’s right at someone. Sometimes you get it in the air.”

The bat Gennett used, a maple model featuring a deep red tone, was made by SabreCat Bat Co. in Louisville, Ohio – a town of about 10,000 residents located outside of Canton. Gennett began using SabreCat bats early in his big league career before he and his father, Joe Gennett, combined with other partners to launch Show Bats, which is based in Florida and uses SabreCat Bat Co. as a manufacturer.

“These bats are extremely hard, because the maple comes from the center of the tree, which is the hardest part,” Gennett said. “Some people don’t like the feeling of a hard bat, when your hands sting when you don’t hit it right on the sweet spot. But I like that feeling. It lets me know when I’m barreling up the ball.

Scooter Gennett's Show bat is a maple model. Gennett prefers the feel of maple bats compared to models made of softer wood. (Milo Stewart Jr. / National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

“I’m the only guy (in the big leagues) that uses (Show bats), so I’m getting the best bat I know I can get.”

But even though there may have been a few hits left in his bat from June 6, Gennett almost immediately donated it to the Hall of Fame. It recently went on display in the Museum’s Today’s Game exhibit and is one of nine four-homer bats in the Museum’s collection, along with those of players like Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt and Hamilton.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to be part of the Hall of Fame in any way,” said Gennett, who is in his fifth MLB season and first with the Reds after spending four years with the Brewers. “And now that my bat is there, I guess I am.

“It’s a dream come true, and really an honor. I can’t wait to come to Cooperstown with my family and friends to see it.”

Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
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