P.O. Box 6713
Monona, WI 53716
History and Background of Rock Bats:
You’ve probably read all the stories about former players, former carpenters, former bat reps, or even former sawmills deciding to start their own maple baseball bat business. At RockBats, we have a different story to tell.
RockBats was founded by Roland Hernandez - a Research Engineer from the USDA Forest Products Laboratory - the national research laboratory of the Forest Service located in Madison, Wisconsin. For over 17 years, Roland worked on special research projects in the engineered wood products and structures group. His research projects usually involved glued-laminated timber (glulam) - large beams used in churches and commercial structures. Roland's projects covered many areas, including finding new uses for species not often used in glulam, developing computer simulation models that analyzed the stresses in these glulam beams, and even developing the strongest glulam beam in the industry.
In September 2007, Roland left the Forest Service to expand his RockBats business and is now living his dream and operating RockBats, and other businesses, 100%. In the month of December, 2008 - he developed the ultimate all-wood laminated composite baseball bat. The RockBat with "HardCore Technology. This too should become the strongest and highest-performing engineered all-wood bat in the industry.
With the development of a new business, now it was time to develop the first bat model. The first bat model was a hybrid - a durable and comfortable M110 handle, with a larger C243-style barrel. Great wood, nice bat shape, but now RockBats needed a logo. The RockBats logo had to have something to do with Maple. So Roland walked out to the maple tree in his front yard, and plucked the lucky leaf that was to eventually become the symbol of the best hard maple baseball bat in the industry. There were lots of initial ideas for a logo, but the first official logo was a combination of a diamond and a leaf. Great wood, nice bat shape, and now a nice logo.
But there was still something missing to make these RockBats "SPECIAL". And that's when the idea of sweet spot testing was born. Roland remembered from back in his engineering days at Texas A&M University that the sweet spot could be calculated using the geometric parameters of the bat shape. This "calculated" sweet spot was more accurately referred to as the Center of Percussion. After calculating where the sweet spot location should be, Roland tested several bats and found that the sweet spot location varied from bat to bat. The sweet spot that was being determined by test was more accurately referred to as the node of vibration. It quickly became apparent that. “No Two Solid-Wood Baseball Bats Are Alike”! Even two bats having the same shape and weight can have slightly different sweet spot locations. That's because wood varies from tree to tree, and elasticity of the wood varies from tree to tree. A stiffer wood is going to vibrate at a much higher frequency than a more flexible wood, so this affects the location of the vibration node point - i.e. affects the location of the sweet spot on the bat. RockBats is the only bat manufacturer that identifies the location of the sweet spot on the barrel of the bat.