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Original Issue

Sweet Swing

In the arsenal of ultralight aluminum bats, the Copperhead ACX
from Worth is a uniquely high-tech weapon. The Copperhead, which
costs $299, helps batters turn off-center stingers into hits by
using an internal electronic shock absorber, the piezoelectric
damper, that dissipates vibration and enlarges the sweet spot.
The light-emitting diode (LED) in the knob tells the hitter that
all systems are go.

This brainy bat will no doubt be a sizzling topic at high school
rules committee meetings. It already fails to meet size and
weight requirements adopted recently by the NCAA, which go into
effect in August 1999. The new rules don't restrict the
electronic-damper technology. Yet.

--Loren Mooney

COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ACX/FRANK HOLUB [Diagram of Copperhead ACX aluminum bat]