Some of the all-time baseball greats have turned to Young Bat Company for some of best wood in the business.
When it comes to the secret weapons made right here in Fletcher, there's no secrecy. It's honest craftsmanship that makes gems out of each log.
"I think just the knowledge of the wood," COO Thomas Young explained. "I mean, we're trying to give the everyday player pro-grade wood."
Two decades ago, Young established itself as the lumber department for everyone from little leaguers, to big league stars like Cal Ripken Jr., Tony Gwynn, Barry Bonds, Frank Thomas, and more.
Atlanta Braves star Chipper Jones, another one of those satisfied customers, was just elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The switch-hitting third baseman, who hit 468 career home runs, will be inducted at a ceremony in July.
Another member of the hall of fame class, Jim Thome, also used Young bats.
"You know it's really exciting to see a guy like Chipper make it to the hall of fame, and I think it's a testament, not only to him, but to all the bats he used from us," Thomas said. "All of those things combined make a great player."
In one batting practice photo, you can see Thomas Young's dad Chris behind the plate. Chris did more than just supply equipment, he created relationships. In fact, he once made a custom rocking chair for Chipper made with bats.
"You end up with friendships with these people," Chris said. "And I always liked to make things for them to where they had something to remember."
"So, for Chipper, it was like, 'I want to swing the best," Thomas said. "I want to swing what everybody else is swinging. So, he kind of set the tone and other players followed like (former Brave) Andruw Jones."
Young Bat Company stopped swinging in 2005, but last fall they relaunched with other products, including bat mugs you can actually drink out of.
With a laser machine, they can customize wood in surprising ways. They even singed the News 13 logo onto a bat mug to demonstrate. With all the innovations, their bread and butter remains the same.
Great ball players feel even luckier with a Young bat in their hands.
"Baseball players are superstitious, right?" Thomas said. "You go three for four and you're like, 'I got to use that bat every day.' And when it breaks, you want something that's just like it."
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