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.
Bat® founder Sam Holman
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
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 produce harder bats, as compared to
their ash equivalents, that are more resistant to breakage.