MLB stops Astros' Martin Maldonado from using illegal bats gifted by Albert Pujols

Jesse Yomtov

Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado used an illegal bat in Game 1 of the World Series on Friday, which was gifted to him by Albert Pujols – a model that the future Hall of Famer was allowed to use because he was grandfathered in.

In 2010, Major League Baseball tightened its regulations on maple bats due to safety concerns about splintering, but players who were in the league prior to 2010 were allowed to continue using their preferred models.

ESPN's Buster Olney reported before the World Series opener that Maldonado had received a half-dozen bats from Pujols, seemingly unaware that he couldn't use them as the catcher made his debut in 2011.

MLB required Maldonado to use a different bat for Game 2 and a league official emphasized that the illegal lumber was not a competitive issue, just a safety one.

“You know, a rule is a rule. I didn’t have the service time," Maldonado said after the game.

Maldonado went 1-for-3 with an RBI using the bat in Game 1, a 6-5 loss in 10 innings.