56 Beech Avenue
Written by Bytown Museum
In 1996, a scout for the Colorado Rockies baseball team asked Ottawa resident and wood-carver Sam Holman if he could build a baseball bat that would be less inclined to break than the bats commonly used at the time. Sam decided that the answer lay in the type of wood usually used to make bats. Most bats were made of ash; Sam elected to work with maple, a harder wood.
Just over one exhausting year later, The Original Maple Bat Corporation opened its doors. Sam Bats became famous in major league baseball thanks to two early fans – Joe Carter of the Toronto Blue Jays, and San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds, who used Sam Bats during his record breaking 2001 season when he hit 73 home runs.
Today, over 500 major league baseball players choose maple over ash, and over 30 companies manufacture maple baseball bats. But according to the Sam Bats people, the company still makes “what is undoubtedly the best baseball bat in the world.”
Did you know that close to 17,000 Sam Bats are sold every year?