Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 6, Issue 1
   September 2011
   Sam Bat®

  Sam Bat® founder Sam Holman
  Sam Bat® founder Sam Holman
What does a former theatre stagehand have in common with the creator of maple baseball bats used by hundreds of major league baseball players, including Alex Rodriguez, Jose Bautista and Josh Hamilton? In the case of Sam Holman, they're one and the same.

The founder of Sam Bat® - The Original Maple Bat Corporation used his knowledge of wood, acquired during his 23-year career as a stagehand at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, to create a world-renowned baseball bat. It all started with a challenge issued over drinks in a pub; former Montreal Expo and Colorado Rockies scout Bill MacKenzie asked if Mr. Holman could create a wooden bat that wouldn't break during use. So, he began researching ways to decrease the prevalence of this all-too-common incident.

He started by visiting local libraries to study baseball-bat design, which included poring over countless patents. Eventually, he realized there was no way to improve bats made of ash; instead, he looked at maple, one of the hardest woods in the world.

Maple blanks
The maple blanks produce harder bats, as compared to their ash equivalents, that are more resistant to breakage.
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