From this article about the sammy Sosa bat-corking controversy:
I was very surprised to read that Sosa has that many bats. I really didn’t have a clue about this, but if I had been asked to guess, I would have said that the average MLB player has between 20 and 30 bats available at a time. So is Sosa’s 76 about the average number? Or is it unusually high or low?
Also, I can’t understand how 76 bats could fit in a single locker. Just how big are these lockers, anyway? Or are some of the bats stored elsewhere?
They’re stored elsewhere. Players get shipments of custom made bats, then order more when their supply begins to dwindle. (They break all the time.) Since Sosa had not been playing for several weeks, it’s possible he just had most of his last shipment.
I thought the number was pretty high too, but then saw this page stating the average ML player uses 90 per year:
Hotshot hitters such as Sammy get lots of bats, often from several suppliers. Sammy has used varied bats for the last few years, including maple bats (instead of the traditional ash.) Usually, they’ll pick out the ones with wide grain lines and just the right weight. The rest are sent to minor league teams. Batmakers drool at the thought of seeing a big star using their brand of lumber, so they send Mr. Sosa anything he wants.
The big padded knob he’s been using probably means he has a sore hand.
Also, he probably signs many of his unused bats to be given to auctions, charities, as gifts, etc.
He also uses three different brands. So his backlog of any particular bat is only 20-30.
I’m an artist and have dozens of pens, some of them quite expensive. Jay Leno has about a dozen cars. Burt Ward keeps a half-dozen “Robin” costumes in the trunk of his car (Female fans will do a surprising assortment of things to score an authentic “Robin” costume). Sammy Sosa has 76 bats? No big surprise.