A Cass County man’s hobby has turned into a big hit in the baseball business. Trampas Young began making miniature baseball bats in his garage and now operates Titan Bat Co. out of a 5,000-square-foot facility in Logansport to keep up with increasing demand. Young says he made about 3,000 full-size baseball bats in 2019 and expects to double that number by the end of 2020.
Young tells Around Indiana Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman the whole journey began with his grandfather’s 1928 Sears & Roebuck wood lathe.
“(It was) sitting on his workbench covered in sawdust and had some boxes on top of it and I didn’t even know what it was. And I asked him one day if we could just get it out and play with it,” said Young, who decided to make a miniature baseball bat for his son. “I took the tools and he gave me a five-minute crash course on how to hand carve…I made a makeshift bat (that) looked more like a billy club. I didn’t like it so I took it out of the lathe and threw it in the scrap pile.”
Young says his grandfather made him finish the bat and when he gave it to his son, he got the idea to make a real baseball bat that his son could use in a game.
The Logansport native who, by day, works at the Indiana Department of Correction, was gifted a larger woodworking machine and began making full-size bats by hand in his garage at night.
“The next thing I knew, I’m out there just making baseball bat after baseball bat trying to figure out how to make it work.”
That hard work paid off. In 2013, a local newspaper article featuring Young making bats out of his garage caught the attention of an old friend. Todd Stephens, who formerly played baseball at Indiana State University in the late 1990s now works as a medical device salesman in Carmel.
He decided to reach out to Young and invest in his bats.
“Todd came to me one day and said, ‘Man, maybe we should just try to work together on this and make it a business,'” said Young.
So Young and Stephens officially formed the Titan Bat Co. in 2014. Young says demand for his bats has “blown up” since the company was formed and continues to grow.
“I say they’re the best bats in the country. When people start swinging these at the pro level, I just know it’s going to explode.”
Stephens says going to the pros is the next step for Titan.
“We’ve got several guys that are minor leaguers or Triple-A guys that use our bats, but we have to be certified to be able to use our bats in the minor leagues, Single-A, Double-A, Triple-A, as well as the big leagues so they can practice with them and use them,” said Stephens. “We’ve tested them against Louisville Slugger and everything else but once we’re certified, then they can use them in an actual game.”
Stephens says earning that certification could come as early as next year. He says it’s about a $30,000 fee to be certified by Major League Baseball, which includes an inspection of the woodworking shop.
“We’re just going to persevere and keep growing,” said Young. “This is just the beginning.”