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Wood Bat leagues for players to fuel the need to play wood bat baseball

CanucksJust because your high school or college baseball career is over, doesn’t mean there aren’t outlets for you to get your baseball fix in. Wood bat leagues and wood bat tournaments are organized all over the place, and I recently had the pleasure of participating in one such tourney in Florida.

And as I’m about to land in Chicago for a short layover and get ready to connect to my flight home, I’m a little run down, a tiny bit hungover, utterly confused with the time zone changes with daylight savings, and a lot sentimental. My trip out east was supposed to be a simple nine day getaway and mixing in some play time at an international wood bat baseball tournament that I was lucky enough to be invited to.

The twenty-seventh annual wood bat event is called the Roy Hobbs World Series, and it’s held down in sunny warm (read ridiculously hot and humid) Ft Myers, FL. This place is filled with alligators, manatee, dolphins (we actually swam with dolphins!), and strip malls as far as the eye can see. I assumed I’d have some fun, but what I didn’t expect was the rewarding experiences, valuable moments, remarkable new friends, and memories that will be etched in my mind for a very very long time.

We played 8 nine inning games in six days…..that’s 72 innings in under a week, and I was on the field for 68 of those. We finished with a bronze medal going 5 and 3 (side note: we swept two doubleheaders. Not an easy accomplishment). What. A. Grind. By far the most games I’ve been on the field for in about 30 years of amateur sport. Anyone who says baseball players aren’t athletes needs to give that a whirl. I have a feeling they may have a change of heart. I played pretty well. Well enough to not completely embarrass myself, but that’s not the point here. The real reason this post gets the long-wind treatment is the colorful cast of characters I had the pleasure of suiting up next to. There were so many brilliant anecdotes, inside jokes, and puns for days. We ripped on each other like we’d the been brothers since birth and conducted ourselves like the four year old snot-nosed punks we really are. We fought like champs and overcame almost every adversity. This group was outstanding.

There was a sergeant of an organized crime unit from the Chicago Police Dept who gave us a glimpse into his chilling job description; a CEO of nearly a billion dollar company who timed out to fly to New York to close a deal with Baumbardier; a head coach of a junior college baseball team; and of course the Founder and VP of MaxBat…..a wooden bat company built from scratch whose customized products are used by hundreds of Major Leaguers. These are just a few of the back stories of the MaxBat squad.

I was accompanied by three other local Victoria, BC boys. We were the Canadian content and we represented our country well. I feel like we turned some heads and showed our American hosts we’re not all beaver-pelt hunting Zamboni driving igloo builders, eh. I remember hearing one of our Uber drivers say, “Victoria, Canada?? Not the first place you’d look to find good ball players.” We laughed. We knew what kind of players we were. We went about our business, prepared the way we know how, and crushed pints like true Canucks. It’s in the handbook.

In the locker room, we were the most boisterous and raukus of all the teams in there. We held kangaroo court after each game and awarded bucks for every slight infraction on and off the field. Wore the wrong color undershirt? That’s a buck. Come to the airport with an expired passport? That’s a buck. Lose all your gear in transit? Thats a buck. I did all of those things btw.To say we didn’t hold back would be an understatement. We owned the week.

Team MaxBat is filled with salt of the earth family oriented hard working men all brought together purely for the love of of this fickle game (and pints). I’m more than honored to call these people my friends. I can only hope they feel the same. Until next year, compadres. I wish you all the best.

Gordon Paterson

Categories: Wood Bat, Wood bat company, Wood bat manufacturer, Wood Bats

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Wood bats…..Wood Softball bats that is – Part 2

The wood bat movement for softball is something that really caught my eye. I have played slow pitch softball for a few summers now and have always thought that the metal bats used today are way too “hot”. I agree that having to have a home run limit is something that should immediately be a red flag. Not to mention, everyone now apologizes if they hit a ball up the middle.

In baseball, we are taught to drive the ball up the middle. As a baseball player myself (currently in a wood bat league), and a huge numbers and analytics nerd, I decided to do some research on the numbers.

A study was done out of Mamaroneck High School comparing metal bats and wood bats and swing and exit speed. The average swing speed was 8 miles per hour faster with the metal bats. The exit speed difference for someone of my age (22) was 14 mph faster off of the metal bat as compared to the wood bat.

If you take these numbers and put them into game like reaction times, you would find that with a wood bat, you have 0.04 more seconds to react on a ball hit back at the pitcher. Now this may not seem like a lot of time, but that can be the difference between getting your glove up to catch the ball and being hit by a hard line drive. As a pitcher who has been hit by a line drive back at me, I will take all the time I can get. In terms of softball, the base paths are 20-30 feet shorter than baseball, depending on the league. This reaction time is now reduced even more, which has caused pitchers and even some infielders to wear masks. At the end of the day, I am completely on board with the change to wood bats for softball. Not to mention the customization that MaxBat offers is something that softball players everywhere would enjoy.

Written by MaxBat contributor, Tyler Flakne

Categories: Bat Swing Speed, Metal bats, Wood Bat, Wood Bats

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Wood Bat business chosen as Top 100 Small Business in USA

Behind every successful small business is an owner with a vision for something that could be done better – and a community that benefits from that vision. Whether it’s a vintage shop that revitalizes a troubled neighborhood, a construction company that builds new homes or a small restaurant that SBR_Logo_Championed by Deluxeanchors a community, small businesses play an increasingly important role in bringing people together.

That’s why a wood bat manufacturer like MaxBat is being profiled as part of the Small Business Revolution project – a year long campaign that celebrates the vibrancy, variety and community impact of small businesses all across the country.

Baseball is America’s pastime, and wood bats and wood bat manufacturing is at the heart of it. MaxBat produces wood bats in their facility in the small west-central Minnesota town of Brooten. Producing wood bats for professionals, and amateur players around the globe since 2001.

“It’s very humbling to be chosen as one of only 100 small businesses across the country to be featured by Deluxe Corporation as a part of their Small Business Revolution campaign” said Jim Anderson, VP and Director of Sales for MaxBat.  “When this idea to create custom wood bats was hatched, it consumed my life and I followed my passion.  It’s the most rewarding venture that I’ve ever been a part of”.

The Small Business Revolution focuses on the importance of a personal touch and local involvement in an era when business is becoming increasingly impersonal. The campaign is capturing the stories of small businesses and their customers, families and friends – all of whom are a crucial part of what makes our communities whole.

And when you think about custom made wood bats, that is the essence of personal touch. Each wood bat being created for an individual ball player, one wood bat at a time.

“The hands-on customer service, the entrepreneurial spirit and the deep community involvement people find in the small businesses they frequent make all the difference,” said Amanda Brinkman, chief brand and communications officer for Deluxe Corp. “Telling these stories and putting a spotlight on these owners is our way of celebrating the best parts of American business.”

The Small Business Revolution story will be told throughout 2015, coinciding with Deluxe’s 100th anniversary celebration. Since 1915, Deluxe has helped small businesses grow and thrive by providing a range of business services, from websites and logos to social media and email marketing to checks and other financial services. In all, 100 small businesses will have their stories told on SmallBusinessRevolution.org

Categories: Maple Bats, Wood Bat, Wood bat company, Wood bat manufacturer, Wood Bats

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Wood bats for softball?

If you didn’t know that wood bats are making a comeback in slow-pitch softball, you soon will.  MaxBat has seen a significant rise in our wood bats for softball this year, and the demand keeps growing.

Why wood bats for softball?  Well, if you’ve seen a competitive men’s softball game recently, you’ll notice some unusual rules.

  1. Batters don’t even have to run the bases after hitting homeruns.8542-1_display
  2. Homeruns are counted as OUTS after a certain number of them are hit.
  3. Some leagues require pitchers to wear facemasks.

So…..why is this?  This isn’t the softball that I grew up watching my dad play two nights a week in the summertime.

ASA has banned the use of dozens of “hot” bats, and that list keeps growing.  Of course, the only “hot” bats are the ones made of metal and/or composite materials.

Many leagues have said “Enough is Enough”, and have switched to playing softball with wood bats.  The game is safer and more enjoyable.  Players who have made the switch exclaim to one another, “Why didn’t we switch to wood bats sooner”?  Unfortunately, many leagues have switched to wood bats only after a handful of players in their leagues were permanently injured by a ball coming off a “hot” bat at close range.

Wood bats for softball can be made to exact ASA specifications, and because they are wood bats and not metal, they do not need the ASA stamp on them.  Balls coming off the barrel of a wood bat do not reach ridiculous speeds, and make it fair/safe for the fielders.  Now if someone hits a homerun in a softball game with a wood bat, it’s because of the player’s talent level, and not the bat’s engineering.

Many leagues play on fields without fences too.  So using wood bats in softball games can reduce the number of gap shots that roll for a mile and a half before an outfielder tracks it down.

Perhaps now is the time for your community or parks and recreation department to host a wood bat softball tournament to expose the game to more people.

Categories: Wood Bat, Wood Bats

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What is the proper way to hold a wood bat?

We are frequently asked by customers “how should I hold a wood bat”?  It’s actually a good question, because with the variety of wood species to make wood bats, there’s a difference of opinion depending on what kind of wood bat you’re swinging.

Let’s start with how to hold the wood bat, and then we’ll get into the specifics.

First, hold your wood bat upright so the manufacturer’s logo (in this case, a MaxBat logo) is centered.  Which means you’re looking right at it.  Now, if you are a right-handed batter, slightly turn the wood bat in your hand so the MaxBat logo is facing your left shoulder.  If you are a left-handed batter, you would do just the opposite (slightly turn the wood bat in your hand so the MaxBat logo is facing your right shoulder.

But, why do we need to do this with wood bats, and not with aluminum?  Because wood bats have different flexes, and one side is harder than the other, etc., etc.  So, we want you to hold your wood bat in your hand, so that when you swing it, the hardest side of the wood bat barrel is making contact with the baseball.  By positioning the MaxBat logo to face your left shoulder (Right-Handed batter), or your right shoulder (Left-Handed batter), the MaxBat logo should be facing straight up to the sky when the wood bat barrel makes contact with the baseball.

So, what’s the big advantage to that?  We place the logo on either the Face-Grain (Ash Wood Bats), or Edge-Grain (Maple Wood Bats and Birch Wood Bats) so that when you position the wood bat in your hand correctly, you will be hitting the ball on the hardest side of the wood bat barrel.  Hitting the ball on this side of the wood bat barrel has been proven to extend the longevity of your wood bat.

Prior to 2009, it was believed that the manufacturer’s logo should always be placed on the face-grain of wood bats.  However, after extensive testing that was mandated by MLB, it was established that the manufacturer’s logo should be placed on the edge-grain of Maple wood bats and Birch wood bats.

So there you have it.  Just another tidbit on wood bats, from your friends at MaxBat.  Makers of the finest wood bats on the planet.

Categories: Baseball Bats, Birch Bats, Maple Bats, Metal bats, Wood Baseball Bats, Wood Bat, Wood Bats

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