Vt company hits home run with tiny bats - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt company hits home run with tiny bats

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In the nostalgic game of baseball the swing of a bat can change the whole game, and that's exactly what one Vermont company hopes its bats will do. Only these aren't professional bats, they're promotional.

"The majority of what we're doing like for the Lake Monsters and Mountaineers are the 18-inch minibats," said Tim Keane of Black Bear Wood Products.

Full size and minibats from Black Bear Wood Products are being shipped out to major and minor league stadiums all over the U.S.

Reporter Gina Bullard: So minibats are your main business?

Tim Keane: That's what we're known for. We're probably the largest supplier of minibats made in the USA right here in Vermont and no one knows we're here. (laughs)

Each bat is made primarily from Vermont products, from the ash wood down to the lacquer it's coated in.

"Everything is from the local area," Keane said. "We're here for a reason-- we love Vermont."

Four years ago the Northfield Falls company hit a slump; with the economic downturn China was taking its business. But now in the seventh-inning stretch this game is turning around.

"We had double-digit growth last year and this year we're hiring new people and it's just because of the quality," Keane said.

Business is returning and the quality is as solid as ever. Over 100,000 mini-bats will be gracing kids' hands this year.

Gina Bullard: so this is a team sport too?

Tim Keane: It's definitely a team. We have the best team in baseball right here.

This year the Lake Monsters have ordered a couple thousand of the minibats.

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