Pete Browning

The famous Louisville Slugger line of baseball bats made by the Hillerich & Bradsby Company is named after the Louisville-born, bred, and employed Browning, who ordered the first customized bat in 1884. Browning himself was called “The Gladiator” for his desperate fights with fly balls. The epitome of the clumsy slugger (lifetime fielding average, .874), he was nearly deaf from mastoiditis, illiterate, and alcoholic. But he also compiled the third-highest career BA for a righthanded batter and won three batting titles.