Marucci as Bat Man: Great Oak (Bats)

From Little Acorns Grow

By Shlomo Maital


   There are two major lessons we learn from the story of Jack Marucci and his sports equipment company. Lesson One: Just do it – start small, create value, make a prototype…and see what happens. Lesson Two: Even if you create a great huge global company – keep doing whatever you were doing in your day job, if you truly love it. You don’t HAVE to become a tycoon/manager.

     Lesson One: In 2002 Marucci’s little boy Gino, 8 years old, needed a baseball bat. He wanted a wood bat, but no company made wood bats for kids, only for adults. Kids’ bats were all aluminum. Marucci had learned how to use a wood lathe in high school. So he bought a used lathe, got some maple (best for bats) and made a bat for Gino. It took a few tries, but he soon got the idea. Soon Gino’s friends wanted wood bats too. So Marucci made them ones. Eduardo Perez, the son of Hall of Fame St. Louis Cardinal baseball player Tony Perez, got one. He told his dad. Perez in turn told Albert Pujols, future Hall of Famer, about the bats..and Pujols loved them!   Soon Marucci was in the bat business, producing high-quality maple bats, with obsessive attention to quality, for Major League baseball players. Eventually his company expanded into other types of equipment, with two retired ballplayers as partners. Marucci Maplewood bats are used today by more than 35 per cent of all the players in Major League Baseball!

     See a need? If you can – make a prototype. If it’s great, who knows what will happen.

     Lesson Two:   Marucci has a day job, as Director of Athletics at Louisiana State University (LSU), Baton Rouge, Louisiana.   He loves this job. Despite the success of Marucci’s bat company, he has decided to keep his day job, and still holds an interest in the sports equipment company.

       So, what do we learn?   If you see a need, see if you can satisfy it, preferably with your own two hands. Amazing things may follow if your product is truly great. And if you have a day job and truly love it, hang on to it and let your partners build and grow your business.