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Bat Man; Maple bats from small company a hit with players

The Dallas Morning News dallasnews.com May 3, 2000

Bat Man; Maple bats from small company a hit with players – By Evan Grant “ Rangers clubhouse manager Zack Minasian has been around baseball clubhouses for a dozen years. If there is a piece of baseball equipment to be sold, Minasian has seen it.

That’s why Minasian just kind of snickered when coveralled Sam Holman founder …of the Original Maple Bat Corporation presented him with a few of his fledgling company’s bats. “I’ve seen a million of these guys… You think it’s just another fly-by-night operation.” 

What Minasian and others around baseball have quickly found out is it’s not. The tiny Original Maple Bat Co. – known as the Sam Bat – is carving a niche for itself with its rock hard bats. Players like that the Sam Bats last longer than those made of ash…” “[In 1995], Sam Holman was working as a craftsman at the National Arts Center in Ottawa, Ontario. One day, during a discussion with an old friend named Bill McKenzie, who scouted Canada for the Colorado Rockies, the subject turned to bats. …McKenzie lamented that “we were breaking too many bats.” He suggested that since Holman was a carpenter, he try to do something about it.” “Holman tried something even harder than maple first, but he couldn’t get his hands on any dried ironwood. So he set aside a piece of scrap maple that he had used to build the stair rails in his house and went to the library to research the product.” “ …[Holman] let the Ottawa Lynx Class AAA team experiment with it. The Players pounded the ball.” “ After a slow first half, [Royce Clayton] figured he had nothing to lose by switching bats. He picked up the Sam Bat and took it into batting practice. The ball started jumping off the bat. Afterwards, he checked his bat and found the barrel just as pristine as the moment he had picked it up.” Sam Holman: “Once the players start swinging the bats and see how hard and how durable they are… the wood kind of speaks for itself.”

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