#Lunchboxnotes 10.3.16




The Outstanding Ohioans show, Episode 55-Interview with Seth Cramer, Co-Owner of Phoenix Bat Company


This show brings the audience great things Ohioans are doing to make their communities, the state, the region, and the world a better place as entrepreneurs, leaders, historical and popular culture figures.

For episode 55, I had the pleasure of speaking with Seth Cramer, Co-Owner/General Manager of Phoenix Bats Company in Plain City, Ohio.  Phoenix Bats specializes in manufacturing WOOD baseball bats for baseball and softball players of all ages and abilities.

To connect with the Outstanding Ohioans show, here are a few ways:

Baseball has a following from what are commonly called “purists”.  These purists love the tradition of baseball, the history of baseball, and the intricacies of baseball.  The resurgence in the use of wood bats at all levels is something the purists enjoy seeing.

Seth joined the Phoenix Bat team in 2007 representing a venture capital firm in Columbus, Ohio.  Here were some highlights of our conversation:

  • his journey from Connecticut to Ohio
  • his personal and business influences
  • how Seth got involved with Phoenix Bats
  • what role does venture capitalists play in business
  • the difference between venture capital and angel investors
  • the history of Phoenix Bats Company
  • the differentiation that makes Phoenix Bats special
  • the importance of customer service
  • how Phoenix Bats gets involved with tournaments to promote their product
  • how wood bats have come back into vogue at all levels, the rule changes to metal bats, the expected future trends, and the benefits to the player that uses wood
  • why Division I college baseball has been resistant to using wood bats
  • how Phoenix Bats entered a market dominated by Louisville Slugger, what has happened to Louisville Slugger, and new growth opportunities for Phoenix Bats
  • how different types of wood serve different styles of hitters
  • selection process for wood supplier
  • Adam Eaton is a prominent major leaguer using Phoenix Bats
  • in-roads being made in foreign markets
  • economic impact in the local community and using local suppliers
  • Seth’s best business advice-sell to the right person, at the right time, at the right amount

To contact Seth and/or Phoenix Bats, here are some ways to do so:

Thank you for taking the time to listen to the show.  Please leave a review on ITunes or Stitcher, or email me at ronsiliko@gmail.com.  Please refer any recommended future guests to my email.

The Outstanding Ohioans show, Episode 51-Interview with Gary Adams, retired NCAA baseball coach and author

coach wooden book

For many of us involved in athletics, we dream of one day coming back to coach at our alma mater.  For Gary Adams, not only did he achieve this dream, he got to be mentored by none other than John Wooden.  His book, Conversations with Coach Wooden:  On Baseball, Heroes, and Life, is a great book talking about his relationship with Coach Wooden and their mutual love of the game of baseball.

Through this book, Coach Adams has written a great legacy piece about Coach Wooden, as well as his outstanding baseball program.

To connect with the Outstanding Ohioans show, here are a few ways:

Here were some highlights of our conversation:

  • Coach Adams grew up in Hamilton, Ohio, where he lived to the age of 14 before moving to California.
  • how him and his twin brother got interested in baseball from their Uncle, who played in the minors
  • idolizing future Major Leaguer Joe Nuxhall, who was seven years older, and remains the youngest player to play a major league game ever
  • listening to Waite Hoyt broadcast Cincinnati Reds games and becoming an Ohio State fan
  • playing baseball at UCLA, and observing John Wooden on campus
  • getting hired to coach at UCLA, and how Coach Wooden came to share his office
  • specific things he learned from Coach Wooden
  • Coach Adams “Sphere of Commitment”, based on character, team, academics, career built around family & faith
  • what was more important to Coach Wooden than winning?
  • Coach Adams and Coach Wooden strongly believed in leading by example
  • Coach Wooden’s sense of humor and the pigeon story
  • what kind of baseball player was John Wooden?
  • John Wooden’s “unique” baseball job offer
  • challenge of writing this book
  • Wooden’s reaction to a “bean ball” war between UCLA and Arizona State, when ASU was targeting Troy Glaus
  • how both coaches became authors upon retiring from coaching
  • the kinds of books Gary and his wife Sandra have written
  • Gary wants his legacy to be “a normal person who was considerate of others”

Thank you to Gary for sharing his great stories.  I highly recommend his book for anyone who is a baseball and/or John Wooden fan.