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Mount Vernon boy creates baseball bat for his friends birthday from damaged tree

[Aug. 25, 2020: Joseph Shavit]



CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A boy in Mount Vernon is making what he can of the trees that fell after the derecho.


Amanda Rhomberg says, after five days of cleaning up tree debris in Mount Vernon, her son Tommy had other ideas. One of his friends had just had a birthday, so Tommy said he wanted to make him a gift. That’s how a baseball bat came to be from one of the branches that fell by his house.


“I just wanted to make a nice gift for my friend. I knew he loved baseball and I just saw the perfect branch, so I knew I wanted to make him a bat,” Tommy said.


The bat maker went on to name his creation “The Great 2020 Derecho” after the storm, in which it was born and coincidentally during Walker’s actual birthday. The bat was well received by its new owner.


Tommy and his friend Walker (Photo: Amanda Rhomberg)

“I knew he loved baseball, so I started shaving off bark of a branch with knife, then dad found whittling tool, and just started forming the bat,” Tommy Rhomberg said.


“A project like that is a very Tommy thing to do,” she says. “He’s always been a creator and an inventor, and likes to make things, and work with his hands. I watched him carve it from the very beginning. And he just worked and worked. By the time he had stained it and polyurethaned it, he had it hanging to dry in the garage and... my jaw just dropped to the floor.”


“It’s just so funny because it’s just so Tommy. My hash tag on my post was this is Tommy. I mean his whole life has been what creative thing can I make and can I invent? And he’s just a problem solver. He’s not just a thinker, he’s a doer. He tries to think about what he is going to do and what he’s going to make or create and then he just does it,” Amanda Rhomberg said.


Tommy’s bat was so popular that he has gotten countless requests to make more, which he will be selling through his website. He plans on donating $20 from every purchase to help in the recovery of Greater Cedar Rapids, which was hit hard by the derecho storm.

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Making a baseball bat is not typically hard as most people presume it to be. This is because making these bats is a simple DIY task that you can accomplish even at home. If you are interested in learning how to make your own baseball bat, Baseball Eagle lists 10 steps to turn the wooden bat of your dreams.


Don't have a lathe to turn a new bat? This Youtube video provides step by step instructions on how to make an old school wooden baseball bat without a lathe.