There’s something about the feel and sound of a wooden bat hitting a baseball. Zak Fellman and Dan Watson remember the feeling, and the sound, from there days playing Little League together. Most games, Zak was pitching and Dan was playing shortstop.
Their love of the sport, and the lumber, prompted them to make their first bat back in their Little League days. Crafted from a tree limb and painted with house paint, a dozen or so of those homespun bats launched tennis balls and racquetballs during backyard home run derby’s and pickup ballgames in the neighborhood.
The Minnesota natives never lost their passion for either pastime and eventually started the Pillbox Bat Company.
Here’s the story behind the company name:
Our name “Pillbox Bat Co.” pays tribute to the old Downtown Park in St. Paul, Minn. So small that, nicknamed the “Pillbox”, it is said that hits over the left and right field fences were only awarded two bases. Being pressed into service in 1903 by the new owner of the St. Paul Saints because he didn’t think folks wanted to walk two miles from downtown to the nicer Lexington Ballpark, the Pillbox was not a thing of beauty. It serviced the Saints until 1909 when they moved back to Lexington Park. It was also home to the St. Paul Colored Gophers and even hosted a series in 1909, billed as the “world’s colored championship,” in which the Gophers beat the Leland Giants of Chicago.
Each Pillbox baseball bat is crafted in the USA and hand-painted in Winona, Minnesota. Game ready and constructed of solid maple. Here are three of our favorite wooden bats from Pillbox Bat Co.
The “Three Strikes” is for all you pitchers out there. Or better yet give it as a gift to that buddy that you struck out every time in little league. You know you still want to rub it in a bit!
Join Or Die
The “Join or Die” baseball bat is wood-burned or ‘tatoo’d’ by hand with the segmented snake first introduced by Benjamin Franklin(yes that Benjamin Franklin) and then painted. This illustration has served in many rallying cries for unity and freedom over the centuries and is a central part of American lore.
Is there anything more American than a baseball game, cold beer and a hot dog? Now there might be a forth — this red, white and blue wooden beauty.
Check out their entire catalog here.