TAMPA, Fla. — A few weeks ago, I was at a wedding in Bay Village and saw these really cool drinking mugs. There were also cool champagne glasses, only there was no glass involved. Just wood.
They were all made out of baseball bats.
What was even cooler was that they all had the Cleveland Indians' 'C' logo on them. That's something that won't be around much longer since the Indians are changing their name to the Guardians.
So I spoke with the very successful founder of "Dugout Mugs" on what's next for the company and how this whole concept came to be.
"I went into coaching college baseball and there was a hitting coach that was creating a training tool – he was cutting baseball bats in half with a hand saw," Randall Thompson recalls. "I saw a bunch of loose baseball-bat barrels laying in the dugout and had a light-bulb moment that you could most likely draw out the center of that bat and turn it into a drinking mug."
And that's how "Dugout Mugs" was born.
Thompson's vision turned into a dream, creating the unique wooden mugs. The variety of sizes and styles available will quench any baseball lover's thirst.
"So, we take the knob of a baseball bat, and we turn it into a shot glass – we also take like a billet, or a barrel of a baseball bat and we carve it down to look like a mini baseball bat, but it's a wine glass," Thompson explains. "And then there's the barrel of a baseball bat converted into a drinking mug, and we also take the handle of a baseball bat and turn it into a bottle opener."
Turning this dream into a craft to create the mugs didn't come easy for Randall. In fact, it took some outside-the-box thinking.
"I have no wood turning experience, I have no wood working experience in general," Thompson adds. "I tried to take these bat barrels and just cut handles off and just drop the drill press on top of these barrels, and I realized that wasn't the move. So I eventually connected with a woodturner up in Maine and I said 'hey this is what I'm trying to do, can you help me out – can you make it happen' and then within about a week he was able to turn them out."
"Dugout Mugs" can be found in all 30 MLB stadiums and nearly 50 minor league baseball stadiums. Click here to find out more.
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