Sam Bat is the classic story of passion and innovation coming together to solve a problem and serve a market niche. In 1996, Sam Holman developed the first prototype and solution to broken baseball bats.
Based in Ottawa, Holman began developing a bat that was tougher and more durable than traditional ash bats. It was an all-encompassing study of legal patents, the physics of baseball, and the dynamics of different wood species. From this careful, thorough, and tedious research came the Sam Bat. As it happened, Holman, a carpentry stagehand by trade, happened to be carving a staircase railing made from maple wood. With a greater density than the traditional ash wood used for baseball bats, Holman discovered that maple was the ideal material to bring his idea to life. Maple manufacturing of a would-be railing soon became the first Sam Bat.
“I was lucky, Fernando Seguignol took that bat and hit the first home run out of Lynx Stadium,” Holman told The Canadian Business Journal. “The world of baseball knew there was something different in town.”
Best in the Field
Sam Bat is about performance, a key reason why it is today used by dozens of Major League Baseball players, easily identifiable from the stands or from the television screen with its slick Sam Bat logo visible on the bat handle. Sam Bat is also the official supplier to the Australian Baseball League. Aside from Australia and the MLB markets, Sam Bat supplies to countries across the globe, including Mexico, Italy, Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands. Sam Bat supplies top quality products to top quality players worldwide.
“Sixty per cent of the bats now used in the game are maple, which tells you that we have really done something,” Holman detailed. “We’re a benefactor of technology. Before that, our grandfathers didn’t have [this technology] and it’s one of the reasons why maple was never really used as a wood before I introduced it into the game. Some of it is timing, some of it is luck, but all of it is researched.”
Arlene Anderson, President of Sam Bat, added, “Our product gets a wonderful reception. Players know that when they hold it and use it, they know the quality that goes into the Sam Bat, and that’s a function of our expert staff.”
From controlled wood cutting to a detailed kiln drying process, Sam Bat manufacturing is far more advanced than simply operating automated production.
Rather, the team at Sam Bat carefully selects and evaluates each piece of maple that goes into its finished product as its way of guaranteeing the best customized result.
“Our quality is absolutely paramount to what we do. If we let up in the slightest, we would be rejected overnight,” Holman explained. “We learned long ago that we are our own best supplier. It’s hard work and it’s a real challenge, but it gives us an edge over our competitors.”
Passion and dedication led to the development of Sam Bat, and pushed the company to where it is today. Moving forward, the same passion steers it ahead.
Always with an eye on improvement, Sam Bat wants to continue refining its product, researching and fine tuning its work, its processes, and wood treatment.
Sam Bat always sources the best maple to provide the market with the best available product. It is this commitment to quality that continues to draw the best in baseball to Sam Bat. High performance players desire high performance equipment that meets their needs, a market niche which Sam Bat has deftly served.
“We’ve solidified our spot in the marketplace,” Anderson explained. “The object now is [to pursue] brand recognition and to expand the general base. There is a lot of competition. Sam created a bit of a monster because he was very successful in infiltrating into the MLB in the early 2000s. As a result, we now have more than 30 competitors selling into MLB. We’re one of the Top 5 and we’re very proud of that.”
As Holman concluded, “It’s an instrument. It’s very important that you become a doctor of your profession. The education and the research that we have developed made us that. We’re recognized around the world for making one of the best baseball bats in the world. That’s dedication.”