Welcome to the first installment of The Sweet Spot, a monthly newsletter from me, Mitchell Godkin, owner and founder of Leadbury Bat Co. The Sweet Spot will keep you up to date on the past, present and future of the company, and hopefully increase the connection between us, the manufacturer, and you, the player. If you’re reading this installment, you have likely watched Leadbury blossom from the experimental bats of 2017 into a fully operational wood bat manufacturer in late 2018. You are either an early customer of ours or potential future customer, and I would like to thank you for all the support we have received in our first full year in business.
2018 began with one goal. Create a business around a product that showed its potential in 2017. Building off the positive feedback from the Western Baseball team and a few Intercounty Baseball League players, Leadbury was officially incorporated in March of this year. Early models were put through their paces indoors with the London Majors and showed extreme promise. Spring finally came, and Leadbury bats hit the field, and knocked it out of the park, when Mike Ambrose blasted a ball over the outfield wall with his Leadbury at Labatt Park in the first IBL pre-season game. Momentum continued to build throughout the summer, with key players Byron Reichstein, Cleveland Brownlee, Chris McQueen and others having great seasons swinging Leadburys. With Cleveland co-leading the league in home runs with his Leadbury, Byron Reichstein’s dedication to growing our brand on and off the field, and the entire lineup swinging custom red Leadburys on Canada Day, there were many highlights this season with the Majors.
The summer progressed and Leadbury continued to grow its reach and gain a following both locally and abroad. With bats appearing on fields in Texas, Virginia, Florida and even Australia, we continued to focus inwards on improving our manufacturing facility. With our state-of-the-art kiln technology in place early on, a CNC lathe was the next step. Enter the Bat Boss. Now turning out eight different profiles across 17 models and growing, Leadbury now offers a full range of model options to suit almost any player. In addition to the new lathe, an entirely new climate control system, grading protocol and finishing process were put in place to continually push the improvement of our product.
Our stop at the 21U Nationals in St. Thomas, with our entirely new fleet of bats capped off an incredible summer for Leadbury. In addition to a few bats hitting the field, and a couple home runs, many relationships were created at the tournament. Although not in the hands of a Blue Jay, Josh Niles of the Great Lakes Canadians took his Leadbury from St Thomas to the Rogers Centre for Tournament 12, a showcase for the best prospects in Canada.
Rolling into the off-season, production continues to increase. We are planning for a big year in 2019 and there are a lot of exciting things to come from Leadbury. We are bringing a new level of analysis to our product and will be testing both in the cage and the labs as part of my Undergrad Engineering Thesis at Western University. A new level of understanding of our kiln drying process as well as in depth analysis of on field performance metrics, swing mechanics, fracture mechanics, moisture content, material hardness, and microstructure.
Looking back on 2018, it was nothing but a great success in almost every way. There are many great challenges ahead and I look forward to tackling them head on. Increased sponsorship programs, significant tournament presence, demo days, select bats available in retail stores, on site regulation field and indoor batting cages and more are all to come in 2019, all in addition to exciting new product offerings from Leadbury. We have also brought London Majors right fielder, and early supporter of the company Byron Reichstein on as a Senior Advisor. Byron will continue to help test and develop our bats, assist with demo days and external events, and grow our reach in the pro ball market. Welcome to the team Byron!
I look forward to the journey ahead and am very excited to have you along for the ride. Stay tuned and be sure to check back in the New Year for regular issues of the Sweet Spot on the first Monday of every month from here on out.
Swing hard, swing smart, and swing a Leadbury.