Most major leaguers just get their name stamped in block letters on the barrel of their bats. A few use the space more creatively
Burnett pays homage to his favorite musical acts--Marilyn Manson, Kid Rock, Green Day, Korn, Nirvana--on 12 of his bats. "I like music that rocks," explains the amateur drummer. Burnett, a career .123 hitter, says his favorite bat was inscribed ROB ZOMBIE, but he broke it clubbing a triple against the Reds in April. Burnett said the Zombie was a "real hard bat," though teammate Mike Lowell is suspicious. "If a bat has MARILYN MANSON or something on it, you'd figure there's no way it can be good wood," says Lowell. "You'd have to think [the bat's owner] was mentally disturbed."
ADAM DUNN and KEN GRIFFEY JR.
Dunn hasn't hit a sacrifice fly ball since July 22, 2003--a span of 1,005 plate appearances, the longest active streak. Early this year he ordered a bat inscribed SAC FLY, and he uses it when he comes up with a runner on third and fewer than two outs. Says Dunn, "When I get [a sac fly], the bat's going on my wall--the Adam Dunn Hall of Fame." Griffey Jr. has 509 career home runs, and his bat inscription, SWINGMAN, was inspired by a certain NBA player turned minor leaguer. "Michael Jordan had Jumpman. I have Swingman," says Griffey. "It's what I do for a living."
Meadows has his peculiar nickname on some of his bats. "When I was with the Marlins [in 1998], I used to go to a place in Cocoa called Lone Cabbage Fish Camp," says Meadows, who has 21 hits in 179 career at bats with three teams. "You can eat, ride airboats, and they have country music. I took Craig Counsell and Mark Kotsay there, and they started calling me Cabbage Boy. It got shortened to what's on my bat, CABBAGE. It has really stuck. Coaches, players, even umpires call me that. It's followed me through the National and American leagues."
TWO COLOR PHOTOS
ROBERT BECK (KID ROCK BAT, BURNETT HEAD SHOT)
GREGORY SHAMUS /REUTERS (KID ROCK)
TWO COLOR PHOTOS
COURTESY OF THE CINCINNATI REDS (SWINGMAN BAT, SAC FLY BAT)
TOM DIPACE (DUNN HEAD SHOT)
MARK COWAN/ICON SMI (GRIFFEY HEAD SHOT)
FRED VUICH (CABBAGE BAT)
DON SMITH/MLB PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES (MEADOWS HEAD SHOT)