-Spalding Wagon Tongue Baseball Bat


From Lehigh’s Athletics Hall of Fame, this bat is an example of type used by Lehigh’s baseball team in the early 20th century. The “wagon tongue” name derives from early bat makers using parts from wooden wagons to fashion bats from. The “tongue” of a wagon is the large wooden beam connecting the draft animals to the front axle of the wagon. Later bats using the “wagon tongue” name were made from ash wood and not reclaimed wagon parts. A.G. Spalding, whose company manufactured this bat, played professional baseball in the 1870s and helped found the National League as a pitcher, president, and part owner of the Chicago White Stockings. Spalding’s athletics supply company was a primary supplier of bats and balls for the early sport of baseball, and is still the official supplier of basketballs for the NBA.

Spalding Wagon Tongue Baseball Bat
A. G. Spalding Bros, c. 1900.