Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you make the bat?

Because I wanted to make a nice gift for my friend for his birthday.

Why did you name it “The Great Derecho”?

Since it was made out of a tree branch that fell in my yard from the Derecho storm, I thought it would be a good name. And it kind of sounded like ‘The Great Bambino’ from Sandlot.

How did you make the original bat?

I whittled it with my Grandpa Joe’s whittling tool and sand paper.

Have you seen the movie “The Natural”?

I haven’t seen the movie, but since everyone is asking me that, I think I will watch it.

How long did it take you to make “The Great Derecho”?

It took over 10 hours because I made it by hand. With these new orders, I am going to use a Lathe and my grandpa is going to help me.

What are you going to do now and how can other people get involved?

Since so many people have asked, I am going to start making bats for people so they can remember this tragic storm and help people who are suffering because of it. $20 of every bat purchase will be donated to The Greater Cedar Rapids Foundation Disaster Relief Fund.

22 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions

    1. admin Post author

      Hi. We are using various types of wood. So, far we’ve been working with Ash, Walnut, and Oak.

      I could make bat using a piece that your bring if it’s straight, around 4-5″ thick and around 36″ long. The biggest requirement is that is has to be straight enough.

  1. Chrissa Lowe

    Can I bring you a log from our own tree to make a bat? If so, what are the requirements? Also great job at what you’re doing! Keep up the good work!

    1. admin Post author

      Sure, I could make bat using a piece that your bring to me. It has to be straight, around 4-5″ thick and around 36″ long. The most important requirement is that is has to be straight enough.

      Thank you!

    1. admin Post author

      We are using a variety of wood types. The wood is not tiln dried so all of the bats are going to naturally crack and that’s why we recommend not using the bats for actual baseball.

  2. Charles Watson

    You say your bats can’t be used for baseball. Why? I realize it would be hard to make one suitable for official ball, but what about backyard baseball?

    1. admin Post author

      Thank you for the question. We are not kiln drying the wood because it would take too long and add cost to the project. So, the bats are going to naturally crack as they dry and get “older”. That’s why we recommend not using the bats for actual baseball. But, the cracks look kinda neat and show that they are made from actual derecho wood.

    1. admin Post author

      Hi Mary and thanks for the question. This whole thing is a learning opportunity and service project for Tommy. He’s running it like a business; tracking his expenses, doing customer service, marketing, and making the bats. It’s been a lot of fun and a lot of work. And, because he’s sold a lot of bats he’ll be able to give a substantial amount of money to the Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. So, hopefully when all of the expenses have been paid and bats are shipped, Tommy will have made a little profit. With that profit, Tommy will either save the money for college or maybe start a new project. It will be interesting. Thanks again.

  3. Nader K. Parsia

    Hi dear Tommy , you are a rare angel from Heavens and gift of God to mankind , may Lord bless you with the Universes power and bless you with all sort of abundance for you to continue your Godly Deed/s . Wishing you a long, healthy, prosperous and a heavenly life and Happy New Year of 2021.
    ” Ho, Ho Go, Go Mr. Derecho” . God Bless
    Nader Parsia from Sunshine State of Florida.

  4. Joe Oglesby

    You ROCK! Your kind Heart & Generosity in a Derecho…!
    Who even heard of a Derecho? On top of Covid-19! WOW!
    ABC Evening News & helping others out less fortunate!
    I just think it’s bloody AWESOME! ROCK STAR – GO FAR!
    Truly can tell how you were raised, thank your parents & Grampa Joe!!
    May God continue to Bless You, Your Family & All effected by the Derecho! Thanks for making a Huge Difference in this Wonderful World to make it an even better place to live… IOWA – God’s Country!

  5. Wilber Roney

    To display entrepreneurship at this age, to be motivated as such and to respond to environment challenges so positively, Tommy deserves a trophy. He earns mine. I would like to contact Tommy’s parents for their recipe and especially about the Haitian flag that was slightly displayed in the background.

    Sincerely and thank you.

  6. Claire Deamer

    Just read your story here in the UK.
    Keep up the good work. You are a remarkable young man, with a big heart and amazing entrepreneurial skills.
    Claire D x

  7. Mike Marian

    Fishermen need small bats and green wood works fine for that, also the limbs make good mallets good for wood working. Oh about 10-20 ounces and 12 inch handle. Ill buy a bunch . A one piece mallet is better than a two piece. Basically a handle and head all in one real easy to make. Use the cut offs and limbs. Quick extra cash. You inspire me young man


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