From Boats to Bats
The original composite wood bat finds it’s roots in an unlikely place, a boatyard in Michigan.
The late Steve Baum was an inventor, boat builder and offshore racer. He had a vision of building a faster, lighter boat out of wood.
As the boat industry began to try to build lighter, strong boats they began to utilize fiberglass. Baum, an afficianado of the classic look of wood boats, wanted to find a way to combine the look and feel of wood with state of the art advances in the aerospace industry. Utilizing his background in manufacturing engineering, Baum began his work on his passion project, spending 20 years refining the process of crafting wooden boats that were stronger, lighter and more beautiful than their fiberglass counterparts.
Baum saw the parallel in the baseball industry as leagues began to trade in the traditional wood bats for bats made from other materials. He saw an opportuntity for the revolutionary, durable wood he had invented for updating boats to similarly update traditional wood bats which resulted in the original composite wood bat, The Baum Bat, the first of its kind.
In 1993 he unveiled The Baum Bat. A composite wood bat that hits like wood, feels like wood, reacts like wood while being 400 times stronger than a traditional wood bat. For the baseball industry, this was a game changer.
Staying True to the Design
Baum bats quickly became known as the unbreakable bat in baseball circles, and by the 1990’s the Baum Bat was approved for minor league play by Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS). The Baum Bat, also BBCOR and Perfect Game approved, made it a necessity for players in wood leagues, who were learning to hit with wood, without breaking multiple bats.
By 2015, Baum had fallen ill and shuttered the company while he searched for the perfect buyer. He didn’t want his invention to be swallowed by a large conglomerate, or to be rebranded as another bat. This led to a scarcity of bats and a premium on existing bats as players began to fear the original Baum Bat was no longer going to be manufactured.
Former White Sox player, Ben Boulware, looking to secure a bat for his son, ended up on Baum’s site trying to locate a Baum bat and saw the company was for sale. At his son's urging he sent a brief email to Baum asking for details of the sale and expressing an interest in the company. Soon Boulware found himself flying to Michigan to meet the ailing Baum and after making a promise to keep true to the original design and to keep the Baum brand, Boulware bought the company and moved to Michigan for 18 months to learn the manufacturing process. In 2015 the factory was relocated to Phoenix Arizona.
Strong as You
The Baum team in Arizona is comprised of long-time baseball players who understand learning to hit with wood is a skill which takes time, and adds up to a lot of broken bats. Baum’s composite wood bats preserves the tradition of wood bat play, while offering players a virtually indestructible bat.
Honoring their agreement to Steve Baum, Baum Enterprises is continuing to manufacture the original Baum Bat, using the most recent developments and advancements in science, engineering and manufacturing technology.
“Keeping true to the original design of the composite wood bat invented by Steve Baum in 1993 is essential to making Baum Bats the best in the game,” says Boulware. “As a former pro-player I know how important it is to have a bat as strong as you.”
The Strongest Athletes need the Strongest Products
All Baum products pass a variety of rigorous tests to ensure they fit Baum standards as the World’s Strongest. Utilizing a variety of different materials and technologies to add additional strength, renders our bats as virtually indestructible. Baum bats are the combination of the strongest resources and techniques from over 20 years of intensive research and development, making Baum products as strong as you.