Two years ago, William Merritt, a 33-year-old, New York architect, suffered the humiliation of popping up to the infield three times in a row during a neighborhood softball game. Rather than take up tennis, he went home and designed what he calls "the perfect bat" -- a three-sided job known as the Broadsider. Merritt sells the bats for $25 each and so far has unloaded about 150 of them. "I can't understand why no one else thought of it before," he says.