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The Batman Cometh

The Ottawa Sun

Thursday, April 30, 1998

The Batman Cometh; Sam Holman’s unlikely marriage of maple and baseball could revolutionize the grand old game. By Mike Gibb “Dressed in shabby overalls and wearing reading glasses, Sam Holman carries nothing with him that would indicate he is on the edge of a baseball revolution.” “… Sam Holman has created the longest-lasting wood bat in baseball history.” “Maple is also used for pool cues, bowling pins and light airplane propellers. Holman kiln dries the wood, so there is no moisture to weigh it down… “I knew I had to put maple on a diet,” he said.” “The average life expectancy of an ash bat is one day. Holman’s bats last, on average a month, though that depends solely on the person using them. But maple bats do not chip or crack as easily as ash.” “I’ve seen Canseco tenderize a ball just as far with ash,” Holman said. “But the key with the maple bat is consistency. That’s what players are looking for.” “Ripken was an easy convert – though a sceptical one. He agreed to try the bat during spring training, telling Holman that is he didn’t hit a home run, he wouldn’t order any. After just two pitches with his new lumber, Ripken had launched a moon-shot that landed 45 feet beyond the outfield fence.” “…How unlikely was this…? Holman, who grew up in South Dakota, says he was as far removed from baseball as a young American boy could be. And maple? “We only saw maple trees on post cards,” he said.”

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