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January 30, 2014

Cooperstown bats major league bound

The Cooperstown Bat Company has gotten called up to the big leagues. 

For the first time, the company’s playing bats have been approved for on-field use by Major League Baseball.

“It’s been quite a process,” said Cooperstown Bat Company co-owner Tim Haney.

Haney and his wife, Connie Haney, bought the Cooperstown Bat company in 2008. Founded in 1981 in a basement in Cooperstown, the business now consists of a store on 118 Main St. in Cooperstown and a factory in Hartwick.

Before he bought The Cooperstown Bat Company, Haney worked there, starting as a general employee in 1994. Haney says that getting the company’s bats approved for major league on-field use has been a long term goal.

“It’s been our whole push since we bought the company,” said Haney

Haney said that getting approved was the culmination of a year long effort that started around spring training of last year and involved many steps, including updating the company’s insurance. It also requires them to pay a yearly fee to MLB.

“It takes a pretty nice financial commitment,” said Haney.

The company’s bats are already widely used in other baseball leagues, including high school and college teams, travel teams, the Mexican major leagues and semi-professional softball leagues in China. Additionally, the company makes personalized and collectible bats, as well as other bat related products.

Haney will be going to Phoenix to meet with six major league teams during their spring training. These teams are the Kansas City Royals, Oakland A’s, Anaheim Angels, Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.

“The biggest one that we have the closest ties to are the Royals,” said Haney, who said that the Royals sponsored the Cooperstown Bat Company’s nomination as a bat supplier for Major League Baseball, a requirement for any company wishing to be certified. 

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