Sam Bat grew out of careful research and a thorough knowledge of eastern hardwoods. It also developed from a simple question by Bill MacKenzie, then of the Colorado Rockies: "We're just breaking too many bats. Do you think you could come up with an answer to that?" The solution was fairly obvious. But the answer led to a pile of work and a crash course on bats. The reading list ranged from "The Physics of Baseball", "The Rules of Major League Baseball", "219 Patents on Baseball Bats" to "The Trees of Canada, Standard Handbook for Civil Engineers". There was also the search for wood which, for carvers and lovers of wood is never ending..
Living in and near Ottawa was a huge advantage in developing the Sam Bat concept. It's a researcher's dream centre: home of the Canadian patent library, two first rate universities, the Wood Council, the Canadian Forest Research Centre, the National and other extensive Libraries - all in the centre of the richest deciduous forest of North America.
However, sifting through the mountains of information - especially reading 219 U.S. patents - was painfully tedious. Perhaps Sam Bat hadn't been invented because no one had ever had the heart to turn one after this task. In fact, simply going by patent law, ash would be the only choice.
Developing the business end was also time-consuming. Then there was the task of translating maple (a much more dense wood than ash) into a workable model with the accepted range of bat lengths and weights. One thing was sure: Sam Bat were determined to come up with a line of bats that would be more than adequate to deal with the needs of major league baseball.
Designed and Produced in Canada
The Original Maple Bat Corporation began operations in February 1997, and is located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Our corporate purpose is to introduce a new wooden baseball bat to Major League Baseball. Since our first year we have come a long way to achieving this goal. Since prototype testing in 1996 we realized that we had a bat that was tougher and will last longer than the ash bat traditionally in use. It is our goal to provide the best maple we can buy for use in our Sam Bats.
We make our bats from sap and better Canadian maple, the best grade available. It is kiln dried to a moisture content of 7% - 9%. The specific gravity is 63%. The selection of sugar maple allows us to model our bats extremely close to other wood bats. We are familiar with most models of wooden bats that are commonly in use.
Sam Bat: The Logo
You don't fool around with the word bat – baseball or otherwise – without a fair amount of fun. It was kitchen table nonsense talk of the first order: about a natural sense of radar and, of course, about the idea itself: "It flies!" It led to the need for a symbol. If the name was to be Sam Bat, there seemed only one conclusion: it had to be a picture of the "little devil" itself. Artist Nathan Holman, Sam's brother, came up with the bat design over the phone one evening to Sam. He said he'd put it on paper right away. It was a good design: clean and simple. Nathan's bat picture (with wonkey eyes cut out by Nathan's daughter, Laura) remained the same. Its strong, unique design should be visible from the furthest bleachers – or the smallest living room TV. More than attractive, it gives Sam Bat its new and youthful identity as what will undoubtedly be dubbed the best baseball bat in the world.
From the beginning, there was no question about their market. They knew they would come up with a standard that would be universal to baseball, starting with the big leagues. The result is one of the prettiest and yet meanest baseball bats in the world. We suggest to the professional player that they provide us with a profile of a bat he is currently using. Yes, it can have a crack. We will turn a Sam Bat that he will use and enjoy.
We dare anyone to challenge this the only way that really counts: by putting Sam Bat to the test.