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In professional baseball, only wooden bats are permitted, and they are not allowed to be hollowed or corked that is, filled with an alien substance such as cork which reduces the weight, and is thought to thus increase bat speed without greatly reducing hitting power. In amateur baseball, both wooden and metal alloy bats are generally permitted. Recently there have been increasing numbers of wooden bat leagues and the trend back to wood seems to be accelerating due to safety concerns regarding the speed of a batted ball hit directly toward the pitchers head. Metal (generally aluminum) alloy bats are generally regarded as being capable of hitting a ball faster and farther than wooden bats swung with the same power. Aesthetically, wooden bats are generally agreed to be superior to metal bats, both because of their more traditional appearance and because a ball hit with a wooden bat makes a loud crack sound, while metal alloy bats have a ping sound.

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