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Story #83MaxBatBrooten, MN

Honestly, I just thought, why not me?

Growing up, Jim Anderson was always interested in baseball and woodworking. But it wasn’t until he found himself without a job in post-9/11 America that he thought to himself, “Why not start a bat company?” In 2001, he started hand-turning wooden bats out of his basement for friends in baseball, naming them MaxBats, after his newborn son Max. By 2002, his bats were approved for use by Major League Baseball. Ever since, MaxBat has been providing players with some of the most customizable bats on the market, at a highly competitive turnaround time.

Anderson references the theory behind interest inventory as a big part of the motivation behind starting MaxBat. “The theory is that if you’re interested in something, you’re going to do well at it, regardless of what it is.” Putting this belief to use, Anderson combined his interests in woodworking and baseball. Anderson knew that he would need some help making his bats better and faster, so he partnered with Paul Johnson of Brooten, Minn.-based Glacial Wood Products. Both act as vice presidents of MaxBat, with Anderson specializing in sales/marketing and Johnson specializing in technology/operations.

What sets MaxBat apart from other bat providers is their ability to offer complete customization with models, different wood species, and colors, making bats to the exact specifications of the player. Secondly, they offer a fast turnaround time so that players can have their bats made-to-order in one to four weeks, with rush options available.

For Anderson, letting go of any doubt or hesitation was crucial when it came to starting his small business. After learning his own father backed down from a baseball history project he had been pursuing, Anderson said to himself, “‘I’m never going to have that attitude. If I come up with an idea for something and I’m excited about it, I’m going to pursue it.’ And that’s what drove me to take the bats to the next level.”

Now, the recreational amateur baseball player gets to be involved full-time in a sport he is passionate about. “I’m a direct part of baseball, I’m a cog in the game. I love baseball, so to be a part of it worldwide is pretty awesome.”

 

Photos by Shaul Schwarz, Christina Clusiau, Ackerman & Gruber

  • The MaxBat factory in Brooten, Minn., where Jim Anderson and team are spinning the hardest and most customizable wooden baseball bats on the market.

  • Wooden bats at the MaxBat factory in Brooten, Minn., where bats are crafted out of superior Rock Maple, Yellow Birch, and Northern White Ash.

  • Cutting bats at the MaxBat factory in Brooten, Minn. Before starting his small business, Jim Anderson was making bats out of his basement for friends in baseball.

  • The MaxBat factory in Brooten, Minn. When his hand-turned MaxBats were approved for use in Major League Baseball, Jim Anderson teamed up with an established and automated wood turning operation so that the bats could be made better and faster.

  • Brenda Schmitz poses with bats at the MaxBat factory in Brooten, Minn. Their bats, all of which are made in their Brooten factory, are said to be the hardest in the game.

  • Bats and merchandise on display at the MaxBat factory in Brooten, Minn. MaxBat is known for being one of the first companies to provide baseball players with the option of complete customization when it comes to models and colors.

  • Jim Anderson’s business partner Paul Johnson at the MaxBat factory in Brooten, Minn. Johnson serves as vice president and director of technology while Anderson’s title is vice president and director of sales.

  • Jim Anderson of MaxBat stands with one of his bats at Target Field in Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Twins. As a current amateur baseball player, Anderson loves that he gets to be a direct part of the sport through his small business.

  • Minnesota Twins’ catcher Kurt Suzuki talks with Jim Anderson, vice president of MaxBat, during batting practice at Target Field in Minneapolis. Suzuki is one of many professional baseball players who use MaxBat.

  • Minnesota Twins player Trevor Plouffe, one of MaxBat’s first clients, talks with Jim Anderson, vice president of MaxBat, during batting practice at Target Field in Minneapolis.

  • Trevor Plouffe of the Minnesota Twins uses his MaxBat during batting practice at Target Field in Minneapolis. MaxBat is one of the most popular brands in professional, amateur, and youth baseball due to their wide variety of models and colors, made to the player’s exact specifications.

  • Baseballs sit in a basket during batting practice at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins.

  • Trevor Plouffe, a client of MaxBat, during a Minnesota Twins game at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn.

  • Trevor Plouffe of the Minnesota Twins uses his MaxBat during batting practice at Target Field in Minneapolis.

Business Details

530 First St Brooten, MN 56316
PH: 866-750-6098 / Website
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