The Transylvania Times -

Young Bat Co. Knows How To Find The Sweet Spot

 

December 18, 2017

Park Baker

Cody Siniard (left) and Tom Young have reopened the Young Bat Co.

In an absolute labor of love, the Young Bat Co. (YBC), makers of fine baseball bats, has reopened its doors for business.

The YBC was a supplier to some major league players in the 1990; players such as Barry Bonds and Javier Lopez both swung Young bats.

The YBC was originally started on Ecusta Road in Pisgah Forest by Chris Young. Now his son, Tom, and his best friend and local musician, Cody Siniard, have taken over the reins and relaunched the business in Fletcher.

Both Young and Siniard still call Brevard home, though, and they are already taking orders.

The company originally started in 1993, when Tom was 7 years old.

He said they got out of the business because, basically, his dad got bored with it. He describes his dad as the kind of guy who has to always have a project.

"He really had mastered it," said Tom. "He just wanted something new to pursue."

The pair are ambitious, but they are starting small and trying to tap some novelty markets, such as gameday mugs made from bats, laser etched trophy bats and a multi-piece wooden bat that won't break, called the 360 "Woody."

A cool feature about the "Woody" is that there is a sweet spot all the way around the bat, unlike other bats where hitters have to remember where the sweet spot is.

If you're not up on your baseball regulations, wooden bats are the standard for major league players, but they break.

Young and Siniard want to offer a good wooden bat for the everyday player or the young aspiring player.

Young said it's a waste of time to hit with an aluminum bat because you can't use them in the big leagues.

So, a wooden, unbreakable practice bat could provide the feel they need. On top of that, upwards of $100 for a bat that is definitely going to break is difficult for some to afford who want to see their child do well in baseball.

"Hitting with wood makes you a better player," he said.

Ever the musician, Siniard adds that the clink that an aluminum bat makes isn't how baseball sounds.

"Think of the crack that a wooden bat makes. That's the sound of baseball," said Siniard. "Not that ping."

For the both of them, and Chris Young, getting back into the bat making business is about the craftsmanship, something they feel is seriously lacking in the current market.

Young explained some of the ins and outs of the bat making business, like ink dot testing bats – a measure of the quality of the wood.

He also said that their own knowledge of the sport and wood itself would help them stand out from their competition.

Park Baker

The Young Bat Co. takes great care with each bat that is produced.

"Knowledge of wood is the single most important thing in the baseball bat industry," said Young. "Maple used to be popular when Bonds started using it. Now it's the majority of the market. Baseball is superstitious like nothing else in life. You wear the dirty hat, you do the same motions every time you go up to bat and if you go on a hitting streak with one kind of bat, everybody is going to want it."

Young said that some of the big bat companies buy hundreds and hundreds of bats from some bat makers, and they may have a small percentage that are actually usable at bat. The rest can break, he said, or become trophy bats. Private labeling is another market they hope to tap into. In the 1990s, Young Bat made bats for Mizuno, cranking out 50,000 bats a year, which not many people knew, according to Young.

Siniard said that he has not put his music on the back burner; in fact, he sees connections to be made in the country music scene and baseball.

"Everybody that plays the Grand Ole Oprey gets a baseball bat. I'm not totally sure why though," he said.

To learn more about the Young Bat Co., visit them on Facebook.

 
 

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