Jack Marucci might be one of the only people on this earth who has a rooting interest in all four Major League Baseball teams left in the playoffs. But for the director of athletic training for LSU, it’s serious business.
That’s because Marucci’s other business is a growing bat company of the same name that, in five years time, has made him a force in the league.
Marucci says he now makes the bats for almost 30 percent of Major League players, including Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and Mark Teixeira.
What’s amazing about Marucci’s growth and big star following is that the teams have paid for the bats and he hasn’t paid the players a dime for their endorsement.
It started with Barry Larkin trying one of his bats at batting practice in the summer of 2003, when Marucci was basically making wood bats for his young son to play with.
“When he came out of the cage, he said, ‘There’s something to this bat, I don’t know what it is, but you have to do something with this,’” Marucci said Larkin told him.
In 2005, Marucci got certified by Major League Baseball and players started to hear the word about his handmade bats. Without a single solicitation, Marucci’s phone was blowing up.
This year, he made about 5,000 bats for Major League players -– most use about 72 bats for the season. And the business has now moved many times from his home to a 10,000 square foot warehouse, where six employees work around the clock to make bats. In 2007, he bought a mill on an Amish farm in Pennsylvania so that he could control his own wood supply.
As for whether big hits by players using his bats help out sales?
“We see it,” Marucci said. “Someone watches Jason Werth hit a home run last night. They see our logo in the paper or during the replay -– HD has helped us a ton -– and they find us.”
Marucci also said that Teixeira’s presence in New York has been good for business.
“We have a lot of Mets, but when Teixeira came to New York, we got a lot more Internet orders from there,” Marucci said.
As for the future of his business, he says he doesn’t want to get bigger as far as Major League clients. His focus is now on the consumer business.
With an estimated 90 percent of the bat industry lying in the metal category, Marucci will now bring the name he established in wood to metal. He says he developed new, patent pending anti-vibration technology that takes the sting out of the batter’s hands when bat meets ball.
When he’s not keeping an eye out for his bat business, Marucci is meeting with LSU football coach Les Miles to discuss the health of the players. At 5-1 and ninth in the nation, it hasn’t been a bad year for them either.
Said Marucci: “It’s a nice double life to have.”
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