On a recent trip to Minnesota to promote the Urban Oasis sweepstakes for an updated house in Minneapolis, HGTV stopped in Winona to visit Pillbox Bat Company, a local maker of vintage-styled wooden baseball bats.
HGTV filmed a short video showing the bat-making process and the people behind this artisanal heritage company. You can watch the video here
On their website, Pillbox describes their name and vision by saying, “Our name “Pillbox Bat Co.” pays tribute to the old Downtown Park in St. Paul, Minn. So small that, nicknamed the “Pillbox”, it is said that hits over the left and right field fences were only awarded two bases. Being pressed into service in 1903 by the new owner of the St. Paul Saints because he didn’t think folks wanted to walk two miles from downtown to the nicer Lexington Ballpark, the Pillbox was not a thing of beauty. It serviced the Saints until 1909 when they moved back to Lexington Park. It was also home to the St. Paul Colored Gophers and even hosted a series in 1909, billed as the “world’s colored championship,” in which the Gophers beat the Leland Giants of Chicago. You may find it an odd choice of stadium to pay homage to with our company name. But to us, the story of the Pillbox Ballpark, is the story of what baseball is all about. It’s like that sand-lot place out back of your house that is just big enough to throw down a couple of mitts and a hat for bases, anoint someone all-time pitcher and strike up a game of stick-ball. It’s that place that folks would go to after work to grab a beer and get into a fistfight during the seventh inning stretch. It’s that place that everyone could take pride in because even if it was a sorry excuse of a ballpark, at least it was your sorry excuse of a ballpark – ‘and don’t you dare say otherwise, you hear!”.
The company was founded in 2016 and is proud to be veteran owned and small town made.