Posted by Michael Sonier, Founder & Strategic Advisor on Dec 19th 2022
New to the game: Why we joined Delano Bat Company
My wife, Kathy and I have just joined the Delano Bat Company, and I wanted to share a bit about our decision to do so, as I suspect my sentiments will resonate with many of our Delano supporters. So much of this company, product and vision parallels our values and aspirations.
Baseball is a lifetime passion. It was a bond in my family growing up, and it holds a position of tradition and nostalgia. And thankfully it has reached a similar stature with our 2 boys. Given all of this, did my wife, Kathy stand a chance of NOT getting sucked into baseball? Of course not.
Professionally, I’ve been on the opposite side of the tradition-nostalgia spectrum. I have worked in the internet industry for 30 years creating new products, driving growth and disruption through technology - change is constant.
That dichotomy echoes my recent past with baseball. The (former) shift, DH in both leagues, and my boys playing the same game I played, except for the crack of my wood bat replaced by the ping of their metal. As the bats got more flashy and expensive, the pings got louder. Truth be told, I have always despised the sound, but I chalked it up to technology - change is constant. I also started believing the hype from the kids around the batting cages, and I would never deprive my kids from the best weapon available.
This all leads up to a day in September 2022 when my wife and I crossed paths with the original Founders at Delano Bat Company.
Delano Bats is a family-oriented, small company rooted in the mission to hand-craft the best possible wood bats for competitive baseball players. A quintessential American small business, one you can’t not admire, in the quintessential business of America's pastime. But here’s where the dichotomy kicks in again - they are also engineers, who, as engineers do, think differently.
We learned that they want to build a bat that fuses the best of tradition and the modernity: a bat that has the unmistakable, nostalgic and unique sound and feel of a classic wood bat, and also a bat that delivers industry-leading BBCOR performance: great pop, swing weight and a massive sweet spot across the barrel.
Is that even possible? Well, they’ve been busy in their labs, and the result is a true wood bat with some impressive, patented magic of material-science and manufacturing prowess inside. The initial prototype submitted for BBCOR certification failed because it was too powerful - the founding engineers had to make their next design “worse”.
I was pumped after that first conversation. We talked about the technology, design and specs and much about the mission to stay grounded in nostalgia, tradition and classic baseball sound and feel. They are traditional baseball people, engineers and entrepreneurs - my PEEPS!
I was hooked! But I am well outside the target user. Would my kids think it’s a good idea? At this point, the large manufacturers have their grips on the youth baseball market - sway away from the latest alloy or composite at your own peril. Well, not only did our boys love the idea, but after a survey of ~ 20 local players, teammates and parents, we learned we were not alone in our excitement. Delano Bat Company, here we come. Please, please, please let us join you on this journey.
Thank you for indulging me by reading this note. We hope that you also join us on the journey and sign up to stay connected with us as we move from prototype, to BBCOR certification, to market. We didn’t think we would be owners of a baseball bat company four months ago, but hey, change is constant.