You might say that Dave Kretschmann has engineered his way into Major League Baseball’s history books. Kretschmann’s work as a research general engineer led him to figure out why so many bats used by Major League Baseball were shattered.
“Since late in the 2008 season, we’ve seen video of every shattered bat in Major League Baseball,” said Kretschmann, who is assigned to the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wis., “We’ve tested hundreds of bats and recorded the who, when, and how of every shattered bat in 2009 and 2010. As a result of the implementation of our recommendations and the work of TECO, an independent certification and testing agency for wood products, there’s been a 50 percent reduction in the rate of multiple piece failures since the 2008 season.”
Kretschmann’s research led to changes in bat manufacturing regulations, like density and geometry restrictions, that in turn made the game safer for players.
Read more about Kretschmann in the Forest Service’s Faces of the Forest, a bi-weekly feature by the Office of Communication to showcase the people, places and professions within the agency.