Woodworking has always been a passion of mine. For most of my life, I have had the honor of growing up around a Master Carpenter...my grandpa Bob Winegardner. I mention him by name because we have an amazing relationship. He has always been a great role model, friend & Christian influence in my life. He is always in his shop making rocking chairs, cabinets & many other projects. One summer afternoon while we were hanging out, I asked him if we could build a baseball bat rack to hang in my son's room to display the bats he acquired over the years. Sure enough, we sat down, got out a pad of paper, drew up some plans and in just a few days, my kid had a massive bat rack hanging in his bedroom. I thought to myself, whats next? After tinkering around the shop for a few days, I saw a mini wood lathe in the corner, covered in sawdust. I asked my Grandpa if that old lathe worked. He replied, "YES! Let's fire that old baby up!". We knocked off the cobwebs, got out some carving tools and he gave me a 5 minute crash course in wood turning. I told him that I wanted to try to turn a mini souvenir baseball bat for my son. He handed me an old piece of ash and told me to have fun. As the wood chips flew, the old piece of scrap lumber turned out to look more like a billy club than a bat. Despite how it looked, he insisted on adding some wood stain and we presented it to my son later that day. My son immediately knew what it was supposed to be and thought it was awesome. He instantly asked for a few more to show his friends and after a few trial runs, I figured out a process that worked. They were a hit! (no pun intended!)
I thought to myself...”If I had a bigger lathe, MAYBE I could make my son a real bat that he could actually use”. I made up my mind to start setting some money aside to purchase a lathe around Christmas time. Over a few months, I raised enough to purchase the type of lathe I wanted, so I began shopping online. I met a gentleman through email that had just what I was looking for. So we made plans to meet after the holiday.
On Sunday evenings, My wife and I have a bible study group in our home which ranges anywhere from 10 to 20 people. Every Christmas, we find a needy family in a surrounding community and help them with Christmas gifts, food & clothing for their children. The family we had chosen was a deaf couple with 3 deaf children. They were really struggling financially, unemployed and had nothing to offer their kids for Christmas. After many nights of prayer, I decided to put all the money I had set aside for my lathe into our group offering to help this family. It was amazing seeing their faces light up. Our group provided them with an awesome Christmas. We purchased them several new outfits, blankets, toys for all the kids and filled their refrigerator and cabinets full of groceries. I knew I had done the right thing. I contacted the gentleman who owned the lathe and told him what I did with my funds. He thought that was honorable and said he would hold the lathe for me. I told him to sell it if needed & if God wanted me to have it, a door would open.
After hearing what I did with my funds I had set aside for the lathe, my mom was determined to find me one for Christmas. She began searching online and after several days of surfing, she received an email from a gentleman that stated he did have a lathe for sale, but he was holding it for a youth minister in Logansport. She immediately called him and said “ That's my son!” Obviously, God was at work here. She purchased the lathe and presented it to me just before Christmas. What are the chances of that happening? God is good!
After I set up the lathe in my shop, I began the same trial and error process knowing that God had something planned here. After several attempts, I managed to carve out a beautiful ash bat and presented it to my son. He fell in love with it and began to show all of his baseball buddies and coaches his work of art. He actually preferred to use it over his aluminum bats. It caught wind to all of the local players and over the next few days, orders began coming in & I didn't even have a name for the bats.
Actually, I wasn't even attempting to start a business. It became evident that this was God's plan and I needed to have the perfect name to represent the Lord. My wife and I started writing down a bunch of names but none of them were quite right. Some how the word Titan came to mind and we both thought it was cool. I pulled out an old encyclopedia and looked it up. It read, "Titan: a very big and powerful person". Well, how fitting is that? Nobody is bigger or more powerful than God. Again, I felt that He was leading the way and even helped choose the appropriate name for the business. Since then, our business has grown from a local baseball trend to a growing bat ministry.
We are now sending top quality baseball bats all over the United States. It still amazes me to this day what you can do if you seek God and just follow his lead. All of this is true because of how awesome He is. He is truly a Titan. Thank you for reading my story and for choosing Titan Bats. It is a privilege to honor this game with you and remember Luke 1:37, “With God, nothing is impossible”.
In his Grip,