The key was what temp you swung the bat and the temp of the balls, wow just the same as today - imagine that.
From about 1983-198 you hit Steeles Red Skyhawks and Worth Red Dots, then came the Gold dots.
Now your AA, Major teams went through 3-4 bats a game but those were thin walled bats and the manufacturers would use those guys to set wall thicknesses for average players.
Now in the alloy era small guys did hit homeruns but not at the frequency nowadays. Ask yourself - did the E/D levels have inning ending outs in that era - no they didn't. Did league night Larry have no home run city league games, even the lowest levels had 1-2 homeruns. Heck I remember on college playing a rec league and only 2 home runs were hit in the league all year , and yeah a couple wood bats were still being swung - that was 1982.