Pete Browning, the old gladiator of the Louisville Eclipse, had a lifetime batting average of .343 and was the idol of Kentucky fans. One day, in 1884, he broke his favorite bat. After the game, an apprentice woodworker named Bud Hillerich offered to make Browning a new bat. The next day Browning went three for three; thereafter he would use no one else’s bat. It was the first Louisville Slugger and Browning would eventually own more than two hundred of them, to each of which he gave a name taken from the Bible.
From "Inning 1: Our Game" Ken Burns' Baseball