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What Is a Fungo Bat?

By Christopher Michael

Baseball fans love the soothing sounds of the game -- the crack of the bat, the baseball chatter and the pop of the mitt. But if you show up to the ballpark hours before game time, you might be surprised to hear a different sound. Coaches use fungo bats to hit grounders for infield practice, even as pre-game batting practice takes place.

The Mini Bat

Fungo bats are generally the same length as an adult baseball bat -- generally between 28 to 36 inches -- but the barrel is much skinnier, reducing the weight by up to more than 10 ounces. Coaches hold the fungo in one hand, toss a ball up with the other and strike a grounder or fly ball with accuracy. The reduced weight gives them more control over the bat and allows them to get the ball-tossing hand onto the bat before striking. Fungos would break or warp against regular pitching and are used for fielding practice only. And like regular bats, they come in metal or wood with a variety of sizes and makes.

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