Limited Edition Baseball Bat Pen

Limited Edition Baseball Bat Pen

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Innovating, creating, restoring and transforming broken things are at the heart of what Baseball Seams Co. is all about, which is why I’m SO excited about our newest product offering! 

We’ve reclaimed tens of thousands of baseballs through the years and now we’ve reclaimed our first ever broken baseball bat into a small batch, limited edition wood pen. The bat, as you’ll see in the pictures, was a cracked 2002 Placido Polanco game model bat from his time with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Only 28 pens were made from this bat. Each limited edition pen is created with white ash and black walnut by maker John Wade. The bat is first cut into 2” blanks. The blanks are marked to match the mating sides and slits for the inlaid logo are cut on the band saw. Thickness matched inlay pieces are cut and secured in place. The walnut blank is prepared in the same way using a solid piece of wood. Both pieces are turned to shape on a lathe, sanded, and finished. Then sanded again and finished with a shellac and wax mixture and buffed for shine. The pen hardware is gunmetal in color.

Meet the Maker
John Wade is a lifelong woodworker based out of Sioux Falls SD who prefers intricate projects with great stories. His attention to detail is obvious in the finished project. This project is our first of hopefully many collaborations.

‘The Why’ Behind the Bat
In July 2002, Placido Polanco was traded from the St. Louis Cardinals with Mike Timlin and Bud Smith to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Scott Rolen and some cash.  Up to this point in his Major League career, he wore #27 on his back….until the trade; until Ricky Bottalico happened.  

 You see, Ricky Bottalico wore uniform #27 and he wasn’t interested in giving it up.  Ballplayers can be a superstitious bunch and can have a strong attachment to their uniform numbers.  Looking back, maybe Bottalico should have switched.  He pitched unimpressively in 30 games that year (27.1 IP) and was let go after the season.  But because of Ricky Bottalico, for 53 games of his entire MLB career, Placido Polanco wore jersey number 23. 

For Placido Polanco, it was a different team; different fans; different city; different number; different identity

The bat used to make our first ever limited edition pen was from when Polanco was known as “23” during those 53 games.  Note the prominent 23 on the knob of the bat, the stamped Placido Polanco facsimile signature, and engraved “Philadelphia Phillies” team name on the face.  I decided to obtain the cracked bat from a third party memorabilia dealer for a mere $20 not because of the significance of Placido Polanco or the team, but because it reminded me of my own 2002 and my own search for identity.

2002 was the year I retired from organized baseball after my Junior year pitching for the Truman State Bulldogs in Kirksville, MO.  It was a tough year for me personally because for the first time in my life, my identity as a baseball player was gone.  I found myself searching for who I was in many different places.  Maybe there has been a time in your life that you can relate?  Maybe you’re going through that right now. 

What I’ve come to appreciate is that my identity isn’t really found in what I do, but ratherwho I am.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The past is forgotten, and the new has come!”  And for the 28 lucky people that get to write with these pens:  I hope this encouragement serves a constant reminder of where your identity rests.  The 3 inlayed wood seams in the barrel of the pen point up to remind us of the One who restores all things.

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