Resmondo Sports/Specialty Tank/Phonemasters won the 2010 USSSA Major World Series in devastating fashion – they outscored their opponents 141-41 and won all five games they played by mercy rule. They were able to do this because they have excellent hitters, but they also had the advantage of Worth’s dynamic Duo.
The Duo is the name of Worth’s newest two-piece bat, the latest descendant of their Mutant line. But it is also a reference to players Jeff Wallace and Andy Purcell, a pair of Resmondo team¬mates (and members of the 2010 USSSA All-World team) whose play was important to the team winning the championship and whose input was instrumental in designing the bat.
“During the initial design stages Wallace and Purcell provided valuable feedback in regards to how the bat should be balanced and how much flex should be designed into the handle,” explained Curtis Cruz, Product Director for Bats at Worth. Their on-field recommendations helped result in Worth’s best performing USSSA-approved bat.
The Duo is based on the Mutant, but it probably has less in common with the original Mutant than it has differences. It is a two-piece design with a long barrel and thin handle; but it is made of different materials, newer technologies and unique weighting that make it feel, sound and swing unlike its predecessors.
“The original Mutants used different composite materials which resulted in different dynamic flex characteristics,” said Cruz. “The original Mutants also did not have our patented 5.4L technology in the barrel.”
The process is complicated but efficient: the inner core is multi-layered composite for maximum strength and rebound; a dual layer of braided carbon is applied over the inner core; a single layer of braided aramid fiber is applied over that. Then the whole thing goes through a Rapid Air Vacuum process where air is removed from the composite structure and a proprietary two-part epoxy is inducted through the woven layers under constant heat and pres¬sure. The 5.4L multi-layer design extends the length of the sweet spot 2 inches farther toward the endcap than in the original Mutant design.
The use of aramid – the same fiber used in bullet-proof jackets – has been around since 2001, but remains rare in softball bat design. “I don’t know if we are the only ones using it,” said Cruz, “but I suspect we are.” Worth first used the aramid in the much-loved 2004 Mayhem (orange) and continues to use the expensive fiber in all its high-end bats.
Other Duo characteristics include:
Resmondo Tuned – the precision-tuned barrel works in unison with the added handle flex resulting in 4-times the rebound of a single-wall bat. “This is a reference from the mathematical equations that describe the trampoline effect on bats,” said Cruz. “4-times the rebound means 4-times the trampoline, not 4-times the distance.” However the distance in company field testing has led Worth to claim the Duo boasts “extremely explosive rebound that has directly resulted in batted ball distance never seen in slow pitch softball…”
Resmondo End Loaded – the maximum allowable one ounce end load adds acceleration through the swing. “Added weight to the end of the barrel tends to shift the maximum rebound loca¬tion toward the end of the bat,” said Cruz. “Combined with 5.4L technology, we shifted the location and extended the length of the sweet spot to really maximize hit distances.”
HD Handle – the heavy duty aluminized fiberglass handle is designed to provide optimal flex during the swing yet be strong enough to survive explosive bat-ball impact scenarios.
The Duo is a heavy bat: the static weight may say 28 ounces, but the handle weighs much less than the handle of a one-piece bat would, meaning the bulk of this bat’s weight is in the barrel. The maximum end load puts as much weight as the rules will allow out at the end away from the hands, giving the impression of a much heavier bat. So it does take a bit of strength to swing the Duo.
It is designed to hit the ball long distances and that’s what it does: the weighting and location of the sweet spot mean the bat is hottest out toward the end, where bat speed is the fastest and where a hitter’s maximum extension and actualized leverage will allow a batter to realize his potential. There is no sting at impact and the ball leaps off the barrel, not unlike hitting a golf ball with a driver.
“Not all players will experience added distance,” cautioned Cruz, “but many players will. It is best explained, I think, by saying that the 5.4L technology, special loading, and new handle work together to maximize hit distance. The specific characteristics built into this bat don’t necessarily optimize hit distance for all players, but we have found that a good number of players at all levels of the game have swings that are compli¬mented by the combination of these characteristics.
“It probably isn’t the optimal bat for a player that gets about 4 at bats a week. The characteristics are designed for the tenden¬cies of more hardcore players – good swing speed, consistent mechanics and the like – so it is really meant for players who play in multiple leagues during the week and tournaments on the weekends.”
Long story short – if you know how to hit, it works.
It also looks pretty cool. The Duo is the only bat we’ve seen in the past few years that does not have a glossy finish. The shiny silver handle is topped by a flat black barrel that recalls the slate chalkboards found in the classrooms of the mid-to-late 20th century (you may have to explain to the younger players on your team that chalkboards is what we had before whiteboards).
“The flat black and understated graphics seemed to resonate with the hardcore players,” said Cruz. “The initial concept came from the Resmondo guys.”
The Duo is approved for play in USSSA, NSA, ISF and all other asso¬ciation that use the BPF 1.20 standard. It is too hot for ASA play.
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World's Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!