SAM BAT – The setting and the Bar Challenge, Mayflower Pub
How the first approved maple baseball bat was born…..
Sam Holman was strolling down Elgin Street on the way to his favorite spot the Mayflower Pub for a pint of Creemore Springs Ale. It was a cold spring day in 1996 and he pulled the collar of his windbreaker up which covered his well-worn signature overalls and a T shirt. He was tired, the day hadn’t quite gone as planned. Heading around to the back to where the regulars entered, he pulled open the heavy carved wood door.
The bar was long and narrow, tucked into the back of the larger Mayflower restaurant. The lighting was low, there were few windows. The bar was a dark polished mahogany with the wood paneling fashioned after an Old English Pub. As his eyes adjusted to the darker space, Sam was greeted with the low murmur of voices, it was the kind of place where you could go and make a deal and not be on view.
At the North window of the pub, Bill MacKenzie, John R, little John and big John C, MacDonald had just returned from an Ottawa Lynx Baseball game. It was not unusual to see a fire between the third base coaching box and the pitching warmup box. Bill was an experienced baseball scout needing to always be looking for the next big talent. He was recently back from Tuscon Colorado Rockies Spring training camp as it was at the start of his scouting season.
At the spring training camp Bill had observed several broken bats during the afternoon game. He also mentioned to the men who were fully enjoying their drinks at this point, that many bats were broken during Spring training. Sighing, Bill said to the group that it was hard to find quality Ash wood for bats. The discussion then turned to other factors such as the players being stronger and in excellent shape over previous years.
While they were deep in conversation, Sam joined them, motioning to the bartender. His beer appeared before him and he took a sip. The conversation moved on to the density of Ash wood and also that the baseball bats needed to be warm.
Sam was just starting to ponder the comments about the broken bats when Bill addressed him and said, Sam, you are a carpenter why don't you do something about it?
Saying nothing in response Sam gave Bill a slight nod. Sam thought to himself, interesting challenge………I need to do some research at the Library and read about baseball bats……
To be continued!