ABO Baseball was conceived of the passion for baseball and a love of woodworking! Trevor Oakes, founder of ABO Baseball, has been an enthusiastic and accomplished participant in the amateur baseball community of south-western Ontario for the majority of his life. Oakes excelled in Softball, playing for many ‘A’ division teams including the SPO Super Series league.
In 2015 he began to focus his efforts back on hardball, playing for the Tillsonburg Old Sox.
He soon remembered the challenge and excitement of the game, as well as the frequency of broken baseball bats! Unlike soft ball, hard ball uses predominantly wooden bats which are prone to splitting and breaking after a sometimes relatively small amount of use. It was a costly element of the game. As a woodworking hobbyist, Oakes took the challenge upon himself to produce his own bats to offset some of the cost of replacing them. He purchased a manual lathe; used his favourite bat as a template and was extremely pleased with the results! Through word of mouth his team-mates soon began requesting their own preferred styles of bats.
This sparked an idea and ABO Baseball was born! He began to hash out the vision to grow this into a family business. They are now producing the best maple and birch bats in a wide variety of styles and finishes, using only inspected premium wood. Their newest ventures have included ABO swag and softball bats. All of the products being provided by ABO baseball can be customized to suit every player’s needs and preferences.
In the fall of 2019 Trevor made the move to bring in a partner and open a training facility. His vision of the facility was to have bat manufacturing on site so that players could come in, have a custom bat made in front of them and take a few swings in the cages while they waited or with the new bat.
In November 2019 ABO Baseball moved into their current home where the bats are manufactured. The facility also offers 2 cages with a retractable screen to open into a large turfed training area, a work out warm up gym, golf simulator and a merchandise wall. As well as a well appointed lounge area with tables, couch, and tv’s. Make sure you ask about the turf in the building, it’s an entertaining story.
ABO Baseball’s facility is the first of its kind in the area, and services much of the surrounding area and those travelling great distances for cage use in the past. Deb and Trevor are very committed to Tillsonburg and the surrounding communities and want to provide a great experience to everyone, whether that be baseball, fast ball, or slo-pitch.
“our goal is to make the finest bats for the best players in the world.”
In the early part of 2020 Trevor and his partner decided to make the leap and applied to be Pro Approved. The application was completed, and approved and they travelled to Arizona Cactus spring training at the Cactus league, where they made new contacts and got ABO bats into the hands of players.
They were also able to experience the excitement of seeing the first hit in the pro’s with an ABO bat, which was a 2 run double. Needless to say there were lots of smiles and high fives. ABO is currently working towards increasing production capabilities and looking to the future, ABO Baseball is passionate about reaching their goal of seeing their bats being swung by all baseball divisions and age groups across North America and beyond, including all of our baseball heroes in the majors!
At the time of writing the COVID-19 has our beloved game and the entire world shut down. Unfortunately they had to cancel their trip to Florida to the Grapefruit league. This will definitely be a rookie year to remember. We are looking forward to opening day 2020.