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Canadian Bats in Baseball’s Belfry

Report News Magazine – National Edition (Canadian)

www.report.ca November 5, 2001

Canadian bats in baseball’s belfry – By Colby Cosh “When Barry Bonds broke the single-season home-run record this fall, he was wielding a bat made in an Ottawa basement.” “- more astonishing even than the superhuman achievements of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle. Most people already know that [Barry Bonds] hit 73 home runs during the season, which is more than anyone has hit, ever, in pro baseball.” “Barry Bonds and about 300 other big-leaguers use bats made by Sam Holman’s Original Maple Bat Co. in Ottawa. Mr. Holman’s SamBats have, entirely without fanfare, wrought a made-in-Canada revolution…” “What is amazing is that Mr. Holman, 56, has achieved this market penetration just five years after making his first “Rideau Crusher” prototype. His bats are made of maple, not ash… Few other major innovations in baseball have been adopted so quickly, or against greater odds.” “But if you talk to old-time woodturners, they’ll tell you in the same breath that maple is unpredictable, but that it’s the strongest wood there is. …[Mr. Holman] knew that maple had gotten a bad rap in the folk-lore, that it had a higher specific hardness than ash, and that kiln-drying techniques had improved enormously in the last quarter century.” “ …the bats last longer and, more importantly, their durability gives hitters a tremendous advantage in dealing with pitches on the inside of the strike zone.”

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