Weapon Name: Baseball Bat, Bat
This one is slightly short. So is the bat.
Description: A piece of wood or metal approximately the length of the user’s arm, rounded on all sides. Tapers from the attacking end to the gripping end, and has a flat pommel on the end of the grip. May have tape or some other kind of wrap around the handle.
Where Can You Get One? Any sporting goods store. Many garage sales.
Natural Genres: Modern-day fiction of all genres.
Unnatural Genres: Scifi, traditional fantasy, historical fiction prior to the 1880s or so, anything else where baseball hasn’t been invented.
What’s It For? Hitting things very hard. The bat works as a lever, multiplying the force exerted by the heavy end.
How Long Can You Fight With It? About as long as you could swing a baseball bat. For the average person, several minutes.
What Muscles Wear Out First: Shoulders or forearms, depending on how you’re swinging it.
Can it leave enemy debilitated but alive long enough to deliver a monologue? Yes, if used on limbs.
Learning Curve: None. A character can wield this as long as they have two functioning arms and a moderate amount of motor control.
Nifty Fact for Authenticity: Check the history of baseball bats to see when different types of bats were invented. Aluminum ones shouldn’t appear in your books prior to 1970 or so.
Will You Hurt Yourself With It? Not without trying. And even then, the movement of swinging the bat tends to bring the dangerous end away from your body, so it would take serious effort to incapacitate onself with one of these.
Things Your Characters Can Do With It:
1. Whack a target.
2. Destroy set pieces.
Baseball bats are good for scene destruction, if you need to get rid of one of your settings.
3. Block other weapons. These are thick enough that they can block a sword without trouble, especially if the bat is made of metal.
Take that, katana!
4. Use the butt end as a poking weapon.
5. Smash things. I’m not doing a picture of this, but these can definitely break bones and draw blood.
6. Choke outs.
Like the eskrima sticks, this works, but it takes an awful lot of setup.
7. Lean on it to look spiffy.
Oh, how proper.
8. Swing wildly and still probably deal damage.
9. Do sports. Like kayaking.
Row, row, row your bat…
Things Your Characters Cannot Do With It:
1. Stealth. This is the exact opposite of a subtle weapon.
2. Block the heavy end of the bat.
Instead, the defender should move inside the attacker’s guard to negate the bat’s usefulness.
The defender should watch out for any other weapons in their opponent’s possession. This includes fists.
3. Wield it upside-down, holding the thick end instead of the handle. This is possible, but it completely defeats the purpose of the weapon.
4. Remove limbs. A bat can definitely draw blood, but it will be of the (gross alert) squashing variety, not the slicing variety.
5. Pose dramatically. Every variation on a pose with this weapon looks like you’re getting ready to play baseball, not have a fight scene.
6. Dual wield. These are heavy. Your characters don’t have the wrist strength to handle two of them at once.
We only brought one bat, so instead we substituted this pool noodle.
Baseball bats are clunky, makeshift weapons that nevertheless do serious, gory damage. Use these only in fight scenes where you want a hard, visceral feel to the combat. Not for intricate moves or fights with an air of sophistication. Probably a good choice for zombie fights.
This information is provided for assistance in writing fight scenes only, not for real-life application.
Next week: Bare Hands!
What weapon should I feature after that?
Suggest one in the comments!
(Bows and arrows are coming, I promise!)