Chick’s Sporting Goods

Best Baseball Bats, August 2008
More than 400 baseball bats hang from the racks of Chick’s Sporting Goods, their handles up and barrels down. The goods range from Eastons at $19.99 (for T-ball) to DeMarinis at $379.99 (for serious slugging). Terri Doucette, at the El Segundo location of the chain, is a former high school softball coach who now pitches batting practice to her teenage son. She will sell you a wooden bat for “the game in its purest form” or an alloy with a bigger sweet spot. She knows which bats flex to whip the ball and which ones pound it like a club.