LOUISVILLE, KY – The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team™ (WWAST) has a desire to inspire. And it has. With the help of modern prosthetic technology, the WWAST has left its mark on hundreds of thousands of people who’ve watched these courageous veterans hit, run, slide, dive, catch and throw. Now Louisville Slugger® – the team’s first sponsor – is honoring these brave soldiers by creating a special edition of its new 2016 performance bat. It’s called the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Super Z.
“I was speechless when Louisville Slugger told me they wanted to name a performance bat after the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team,” said WWAST founder David Van Sleet. “Louisville Slugger has been so good to us from day one, providing all of our top-of-the-line playing gear and equipment bags which allow us to compete at a high level. That’s very important because we only play against able-bodied teams.”
The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team is comprised of Military, Iraq and Afghanistan active-duty servicemen and veterans who have lost limbs. Most team members played college or high school baseball.
“We love to play the game,” said shortstop Matt Kinsey, a U.S. Army veteran and former college baseball player who lost a foot when he stepped on a land mine. “Now we get to swing a great bat with our name on it. That’s pretty cool.”
The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Super Z is a 100-percent-composite, two-piece bat with Louisville Slugger’s exclusive iST Xs Technology. This technology creates a massive sweet spot and extreme spring off the bat barrel.
“It’s an awesome bat,” Kinsey said. “I’ve put hundreds of swings on mine, and it has pop. I’ve been playing softball at a high level for a long time, and it truly is the best softball bat I’ve ever swung.”
While Louisville Slugger’s research and development staff created the bat’s performance technology, members of the WWAST helped design the cosmetics. Kinsey and Marine veteran Josh Wege, both injured in Afghanistan, sat down with the Louisville Slugger graphics staff to develop the bat’s red, white, blue and gray design. They added an image of a dog tag plus the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team’s logo and motto – Life Without a Limb is Limitless.
“Our players exemplify dedication, determination and the will to live life to its fullest,” Van Sleet said. “They love our team’s mission of inspiring and educating people. We could play 52 weeks per year based on the number of requests we get. We’ve played close to 300 games in 33 states over the past four years, and that gets expensive.”
1,000 limited-edition Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Super Z bats will be sold to help with those expenses. The bat retails for $329.99, and a portion of proceeds will go to support the WWAST.
“It’s great that our team will make money from the sale of this special bat, which will help us cover some of our costs,” Van Sleet said. “But it’s even better that we’re able to swing the best softball bat on the market and that bat has the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team’s name on it.”
To learn more about the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team or request an appearance, visit www.woundedwarrioramputeesoftballteam.org.
The Louisville Slugger Super Z that serves as the model for the WWAST special-edition bat is already taking softball fields by storm. The buzz about Super Z performance started when Louisville Slugger seeded the market with bats. Now players everywhere are asking for it.
The bat has 100-percent-composite, two-piece construction with exclusive Louisville Slugger iST Xs Technology to provide an extra-stiff connection between the barrel and handle, allowing for less handle flex and more barrel flex. The result is a massive sweet spot and maximum trampoline off the barrel, providing pop to launch home runs and crush line drives. Or – as Louisville Slugger says in social media – to make #BallGoFar.
The Louisville Slugger Super Z is available in USSSA balanced and end load models as well as ASA balanced and end load models with 12-inch barrels and grit-blast finish. All USSSA and ASA versions are available in 26, 27 and 28 ounces. The Louisville Slugger Super Z retails for $299.99.
To learn more about the Super Z, visit slugger.com.
About Louisville Slugger
Founded in 1884, Louisville Slugger is the Official Bat and Equipment Bag of Major League Baseball®. This iconic baseball brand is part of Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., the largest baseball and softball equipment provider in the world today. In the sports of baseball and softball, Wilson manufactures high-performance gloves, bats, uniforms, apparel, protective gear, accessories and player-development equipment through its Wilson, DeMarini, Louisville Slugger and ATEC brands. The company uses player insights to develop products that push equipment innovation into new territories and empower athletes at every level to perform at their best. Wilson is a subsidiary of Amer Sports Corporation.