In just under a week, Major League Baseball officially kicks off the 2019 season, with the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics squaring off for two games at the Tokyo Dome in Japan.
And while your correspondent still maintains (against the protestations of his more America’s Pastime-ier compatriots) that baseball doesn’t really get interesting until September, there’s no denying some interesting firsts going on this year: earliest opening day of all time, first ever regular season series in London, first year of the richest contract in MLB history.
And as it happens, first chance to knock balls around (or decorate your home, no judgment) with arguably the handsomest damn lumber we’ve ever run across.
For those unfamiliar, Pillbox Bat Co. was launched in 2015 by two Minnesota chaps who grew up playing little league together. They began with a simple mission and nailed it: gorgeous, hand-painted sluggers in a variety of cheeky designs perfect for one’s office, sports cave, etc.
This year, however, said chaps decided that merely decorative wood was not enough. It was time for bats fit for actual game use, albeit no less glossy and gorgeous.
And thus comes their new line of custom player bats, currently crowdfunding via Pillbox’s site. Long story short, we’re talking top-shelf maple in all the standard sizes (looking at you, dads with little leaguers) with options for everything from custom colorways to laser engraving — because what’s a custom bat without your old ballpark nickname emblazoned on it?
Also on offer: a series of commemorative bats by acclaimed artist (and baseball enthusiast) Harrison Freeman, celebrating iconic players from Sandy Koufax to Mickey Mantle to Ken Griffey Jr.
Plus, for every bat purchased, Pillbox plants a tree, making you an environmental and baseball advocate in equal measure.
But the crowdfunding campaign only runs through March 23rd, so time is of the essence if you want to be swinging one of these babies come summer.
Or admiring it on your wall — again, no judgment.