A Fungo bat is a type of baseball bat used in practice sessions. It is longer and lighter than a regular bat and designed to hit balls tossed in the air by the hitter, rather than pitched balls. They are particularly used for infield practice, as the bat allows for very accurate control on where and how a ball is hit, allowing coaches to work with infielders on fielding various types of ground balls, line drives and pop-ups.
Long-time coach Jimmie Reese was known as a master of the fungo bat. It is said that he could hit a ball with such pinpoint accuracy that he would regularly "pitch" batting practice by hitting balls towards hitters with his bat.
The origin of the name "fungo" is unknown.
- Bill Colson: "An Ongoing Fungoer: California Coach Jimmie Reese is the oldest and best fungo hitter around", Sports Illustrated, August 27, 1979.