Fender Musical Instruments Corp. and Louisville Slugger have just announced a collaboration to celebrate the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
The two companies 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 noon to 7 p.m. starting on Saturday. They’ll remain on display through Tuesday, July 9, at Cleveland Public Square’s Midsummer Village. The exhibit is free.
Eventually, the pairs will be auctioned on MLB Auctions, and proceeds will benefit initiatives by MLB charities and be used to purchase instruments and learning resources for select music programs.
Leading artists from every MLB city were commissioned to design and hand-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’ Chuck Berry and Detroit’s Motown history. The pairs also feature the scenery of the ocean in Tampa Bay, the lakes in Minnesota, the Rocky Mountains in Denver, Fenway Park’s legendary Green Monster, 3D Pop Art colorfully illustrating the Mets history, Yankees art created 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,” says Evan Jones, Fender’s Chief Marketing Officer, in a press release about the exhibit. “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 Supr Sunburst bat painted at Fender’s factory. The co-designed bats feature both the Fender and Louisville Slugger logos as well as Fender’s iconic three-tone sunburst finish. Louisville Slugger added its finishing touches of decals and clear-coat spray.
Fifty sequentially numbered limited-edition Supra Sunburst bats will be sold on Slugger.com. Every player in the 2019 MLB All-Star Game, Home Run Derby and Futures Game will also receive one of these bats.
“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,” says 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,” adds 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.”
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