All baseball bats look pretty much the same when placed in a rack in the dugout. To make sure they picked out the right one, players would write their number on the knob.
That simple solution worked for years. But the Red Sox, like other teams, now use decals on the knob and bats are even more personalized.
With the assistance of home clubhouse manager Tom McLaughlin, several of the players have decals with their number and a logo.
For David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez, it’s an outline of their native Dominican Republic. Pablo Sandoval has his own “Congo de Africa” logo. Other players have their number and “Boston Strong.” The more established a player is, the more likely he is to have his own version.
Dustin Pedroia doesn’t use a decal but has his nickname etched into the knob along with the model number and date of manufacture.
It’s not something fans can readily see on television or even if at the ballpark. But in the dugout, there’s a little burst of color and an easy way for each player to know which bat is his.
“It reminds me where I came from every time,” Ortiz said.