If you are a coach or a player who has ever worked on ground balls in practice, you are more than likely familiar with a fungo bat. For the rest of us, a fungo bat might as well be a foreign object. Fortunately, we at JustBats are here to answer all your fungo questions!
On This Page:
- What is a fungo bat?
- Who created the first ever fungo?
- Where did fungo bats originate?
- When did fungo bats first start being used?
- Why use a fungo bat?
- How are Fungo bats made, and how much do they cost?
What is a fungo bat?
Everyone knows that getting better takes practice, and that’s no different for baseball! To be one of the best, countless hours of practice both infield and outfield are a must. That’s where fungo bats come in. A fungo bat is a long, lightweight baseball bat used by coaches (or parents) during pregame hitting or practice to help them hit grounders and pop flys with more consistency and less fatigue. With these special practice bats, players can practice catching flys and grounders without the coach or parent losing stamina. Plus, they help tremendously with control and accuracy so that coaches and parents can place a ball where they want when they want.
Who created the first-ever fungo bat?
As to who created the first ever fungo, baseball fans may never know. The word fungoes and fungo batting have been referenced since the early 1800s, but nobody has been able to pinpoint the original source. Baseball fans and historians both agree that the creator of the first ever fungo is somewhat of a mystery. Here at JustBats, we may not know who created the first-ever fungo, but we are sure glad that they did!
Where did fungo bats originate?
The origin of the word "fungo" is unknown and argued upon as there are many possible options as to the origins of this unique word, but these three versions are the most popular predictions:
- It is derived from the Scottish word fung meaning to pitch, toss, or fling. This would make sense, as fungo bats are designed to do just that.
- In 1937 David Shulman, writer for the American Speech, said, "My guess is that the word, which is baseball slang, may be explained through the elements of a compound word, fun and go."
- Fungo comes from an old game, similar to baseball, where the players used to chant, "One go, two goes, fun goes."
When did fungo bats first come into play?
Fungo bats have been around since the beginning of baseball and as most of us may know, baseball was said to be invented by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York during the summer of 1839. Since fungo bats were much easier to swing and gave off a ton of pop, they were almost seen as cheating back in the day. In a book from 1897 named "The Technical Terms of Baseball," the sportswriter Henry Chadwick stated, "The weakest batting is shown when the batsman indulges in fungo hitting." It wasn't until baseball bat regulations came around that fungo bats were only used by coaches and parents.
Why would I use a fungo bat?
There are many advantages to using a fungo bat. If you are a coach or a parent looking to improve your player's defensive skill set, you will want and need a fungo bat. A normal adult wooden baseball bat will weigh around 27-31 ounces, and after a couple of rounds of pop-flys, it will feel like you just went through a full-on workout. With the help of a fungo bat, you can hit ground balls and pop flys all day without getting fatigued. The barrel on a fungo bat will typically be 2 1/4 inches in diameter which greatly helps increase your control over the bat through the hitting zone. While the barrel has a much thinner diameter, it is also much longer compared to a normal wood baseball bat. This larger hitting surface and smaller barrel combine to give coaches and parents quick swing speeds with high accuracy.
How are fungo bats made, and how much do fungo bats cost?
Fungo bats are, simply put, long, skinny, and lightweight baseball bats used for fielding practice. Typically, they are around 34 to 37 inches in length and between 17 and 24 ounces in weight, give or take a couple of ounces. They will also almost always feature a 2 1/4-inch barrel diameter to allow more control during a swing. As you can tell, fungo bats are longer than a normal baseball bat and much more lightweight in comparison. Most fungo bats are made of ash wood, while some are maple and bamboo wood fungo bats, some composite wood fungo bats, and very few aluminum alloy fungo bats. Almost all of these designs will be under $100, with very few eclipsing that mark.
Are you on the hunt for a fungo bat? Did we answer all of your questions about fungo bats? If not, our Bat Experts are available via phone (816-321-2287), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and a live chat feature to answer all your baseball bats and softball bats questions. Remember, we're here for you from click to hit!