Fender Musical Instruments Corp. (FMIC) and Louisville Slugger announced a collaboration to celebrate the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game 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: guitars and baseball.
To celebrate the rock-and-roll history of Cleveland, Fender and Louisville Slugger 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. to 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 proceeds 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 and 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.
“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,” added Louisville Slugger Brand Manager Joey Nowak. “With Cleveland being the home of rock and 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.”