Louisville was founded in 1778 by George Rogers Clark, American surveyor, soldier, and militia officer, born November 19, 1752 in Virginia. The city was named after King Louis XVI of France, who was supporting the Colonies in their Revolution. Louisville was settled because it was a mandatory stopping point on the Ohio River, as the Ohio Falls prevented continuous river travel from the upper Ohio River to the Gulf of Mexico.
We walked along the Ohio River.
Warning signs tell you the water is polluted:
Louisville is probably now best known as the home of the Louisville Slugger.
Pete Browning, born June 17, 1861, in Louisville, Kentucky and nicknamed “The Louisville Slugger”, was already a star hitter for the Louisville Eclipse. In the 1884 season, while mired in a hitting slump, he broke his bat in a game, and 17 year old Bud Hillerich said that if he came back to his father’s workshop, Bud would make him a new one to his specifications. Browning then made 3 hits in a row with his new bat, and other baseball players wanted the bat.
J. F. Hillerich opened his woodworking shop in Louisville in 1855, where he employed his son, Bud. They originally made butter churns, stair railing, porch columns, and similar wood products. But after Bud made the bat for Pete Browning, and other players wanted the same, the father reluctantly began production, ultimately becoming the largest bat producing company. The bats were sold under the name “Falls City Slugger” until Bud Hillerich took over his father’s company in 1894, and renamed them “Louisville Slugger”. Frank Bradsby, a salesman who was largely responsible for expansion of the company, became a partner in 1916, and the company’s name changed to Hillerich & Bradsby.
Babe Ruth carved a notch in this bat for every home run he hit with it in 1927. During that season he hit a record 60 home runs. This mark stood until 1961 when Roger Maris hit 61 homers.
Eddie Murray used this bat on September 21, 1996 to hit his 501st home run. It was the last home run Murray hit as an Oriole.
Notice that he customized this bat by shaving down the handle and adding grip tape.
Baseball players have bats custom made, each unique bat is saved in the factory’s bat vault which contains over 3000 bats.
The “big Glove”, delivered on July 21, 1998, is carved from 450 million year old limestone (that’s older than Kenneth Ham’s 6,000 year old universe).
A short distance from the Slugger factory, on Main Street in Louisville, is this Statute of David, put up on May 2, 2012 to advertise the 21C hotel. It is twice the size of the original Michelangelo statute in Florence, Italy, standing at 60 feet.
Frankfort, Kentucky to Louisville, Kentucky: 70.7 miles