STANDARD GRADE MAPLE AND ASH: All of the wood for our art baseball bats is selected from hand-split stock wood - the same way they did it in the old days. Why is this important? It's all about getting the straightest grain wood bat possible. Nowadays, many wood providers use large saw equipment to cut lumber, producing high yields but also cutting across the face or tangential grain. Hand-split, lumber naturally follows the tangential grain, strengthening the baseball bat and lets the wood’s natural beauty shine through.