HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (July 1, 2019) — Fender Musical Instruments Corp. (FMIC) and Louisville Slugger today announced their collaboration to celebrate the 2019 Major League Baseball® All-Star Game hosted in Cleveland, Ohio. Paying homage to the home of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, All-Star Week (July 5-9) is embracing two beloved pastimes, making for an ideal partnership between two manufacturers that are world leaders in their respective areas: Louisville Slugger in baseball bats and Fender in musical instruments.
To celebrate the rock ‘n’ roll history of Cleveland, the world-famous guitar and baseball bat brands have partnered to create a public exhibit featuring 31 pairs of artist-painted Fender Stratocasters and Louisville Slugger baseball bats, one for each MLB team and one for the Baseball Hall of Fame. The bats and guitars will be displayed from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. from July 6-9 at the Midsummer Village in Cleveland’s Public Square, in conjunction with Mitchell & Ness®. It is free and open to the public.
The pairs will be auctioned off from July 5-29 on MLB Auctions – with proceedes being used to benefit MLB Charity initiatives, and to donate instruments and learning resources to select music programs.
Leading artists from every MLB city were commissioned to design and uniquely paint the products, using themes and inspiration drawn from the historical, musical and baseball heritage of the 30 Major League teams and the Hall of Fame. The works and designs include odes to Seattle’s alternative rock history; St. Louis’ own Chuck Berry and his iconic stage presence; Detroit’s Motown history in the form of 45 RPM records; the scenery of the ocean in Tampa Bay, the lakes in Minnesota and the Rocky Mountains in Denver; Fenway Park’s legendary Green Monster; 3D Pop Art colorfully illustrating the Mets history; a Yankees bat and guitar done by shortstop Didi Gregorius; and a portrayal of Cleveland’s rock ‘n’ roll roots.
“Almost everyone has been influenced by either sports or music in their lives,” said Evan Jones, Fender’s Chief Marketing Officer. “I’m excited to be a part of a collaboration that unifies these two passions and brings to life these artist creations in one of America’s most beloved places, the All-Star Game.”
To further celebrate the occasion and the partnership, Louisville Slugger and Fender have also designed and created a limited edition Supra™ Sunburst bat, painted at Fender’s Corona, Calif.-based factory. Music and baseball fans will be drawn to these co-designed bats, as they feature both the Fender and Louisville Slugger logos, as well as Fender’s iconic 3-Tone Sunburst finish, which is seen on guitars played by some of the greatest musicians of all time. As a final step to these limited-edition bats, Louisville Slugger added its finishing touches of decals and clear-coat spray.
Fifty of these limited-edition bats—which will be seen in Cleveland throughout All-Star Week—will be sold on Slugger.com, in addition to being gifted to every player in the 2019 MLB All-Star Game, Home Run Derby and Futures Game.
“When the opportunity came to collaborate with Louisville Slugger for this year’s All-Star Game, we knew that we wanted to use ash wood from Cooperstown, New York, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame,” said Mike Born, Fender’s Director of Wood Technology. “This is the same wood that we used for the Grammy Museum’s guitar, called “Take Me Out To The Ball Game,” which highlighted the cultural connection between music and America’s favorite pastime, baseball.”
“Louisville Slugger looks for a unique way to honor the All-Star Game host city every year,” said Louisville Slugger Brand Manager Joey Nowak. “With Cleveland being the home of rock ‘n’ roll, we sought a partner to help us make the music connection. Since both Fender and Louisville Slugger have many parallels, such as the use of ash and maple and their craftsmanship, they have enormous legacies within their industries as well as partnerships with legendary performers who’ve delighted hundreds of millions, if not billions, of fans.”
LOUISVILLE SLUGGER FAST FACTS:
- The 2019 season marks Louisville Slugger’s 135th year in professional baseball
- The first Louisville Slugger bat was made for Pete Browning in 1884
- Louisville Slugger was the first sporting goods brand to sign a professional player to an endorsement contract; Honus Wagner in 1905
- The brand signed Babe Ruth to a bat contract in 1918
- In the historic 1941 season, Louisville Slugger helped Ted Williams hit .406 and Joe DiMaggio set a 56-game hitting streak
- Louisville Slugger signed Jackie Robinson in October 1946, nearly six months before he broke the color barrier in April 1947
- Roger Maris (61) and Mickey Mantle (54) hit a combined 115 homeruns with Louisville Slugger bats in 1961
- Tony Gwynn won eight National League batting titles with Louisville Slugger
- Louisville Slugger has worked with players to design more than 5,000 unique bat models
- The C271 model is the most popular Louisville Slugger of all-time, used by the likes of Ken Griffey, Jr. and Alex Rodriguez to hit a combined 1,326 Major League home runs
- 80 percent of the hitters in the Baseball Hall of Fame were Louisville Slugger players
- Current Louisville Slugger stars include Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Ronald Acuña Jr., Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., Didi Gregorius and Adam Jones
FENDER FAST FACTS:
- Founded in 1946, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation is one of the most influential music brands in the world, crafting iconic guitars, such as the Telecaster® and Stratocaster®, and the amplifiers that accompanied them
- In 1951, the iconic Telecaster was introduced as the world’s first commercially mass-produced solidbody electric guitar.
- In 1947, Fender released their first tube amplifier, the Princeton®.
- The Stratocaster was invented as the successor model to the Telecaster in 1954
- Jimi Hendrix iconically played a Fender Stratocaster at Woodstock in 1968
- The Fender Custom Shop was started by Michael Stevens and John Page in 1987
- Fender has collaborated with artists such as Eric Clapton, Flea, Jimi Hendrix, The Edge, H.E.R. and many more for Fender Custom Shop instruments.
- In 2018, Fender released the first-ever artist signature ukulele model with singer-songwriter, Grace VanderWaal, who is also the youngest artist in the collection.