This is the first of what I hope will be an ongoing series of guest posts. I often see great stories out in the world, and I am going to make an effort to bring as many of them to you as possible.
I met Scott Coene at Harris Hill Elementary School more than four decades ago. He and I were never great friends, but we’ve never had a beef with each other either. It is one of those casual friendships that has literally stood the test of time.
Scott runs a baseball bat company called Powerhouse Bats, out of his garage in Irondequoit, NY. After long days at his “real job,” Scott makes personalized custom wood bats, one at a time, mostly for little league and high school players all over the country.
Every bat he makes is a truly one-of-a-kind piece of American Craftsmanship.
These bats are so American, the only beer he allows in his shop is Miller High-Life.
Yesterday on Facebook, Scott shared a story I think the world needs to hear. So, without further explanation… here it is:
By Scott Coene:
I need to acknowledge my old neighbor Carm Toscano for making this tool for me.
Seven years ago he handed it to me over the chain-link fence that separates our backyards, and he told me to try it out.
Being a stubborn mule, I let it sit on the table in my garage while I struggled to get a grasp on making quality wood baseball bats.
A few months went by, and nearly every time I saw him he would ask “have you tried it?” I would let him know I intended to do so. Meanwhile, I continued to struggle with my new hobby.
Finally, after ruining yet another piece of wood, I looked at it and decided to try the old man’s ridiculous tool. It worked well.
My craftsmanship improved, Carm was happy I used it and told me I should have weeks ago. Months went by, and things in my little bat factory improved dramatically. The wood started to actually resemble baseball bats and this goofy tool was the reason.
Carm was a retired machinist with time and know how. I’m pretty sure he didn’t have college degrees hanging on his wall, but he had something you can’t teach. Determination and common sense.
He was a throwback to a time when you worked, you raised a family and you learned things by necessity and paying attention.
Over the years, Carm handed me many more tools over the fence.
Tools made in his basement. Tools I still use on each and every bat. The particular tool above cannot be used anymore because of years of sharpening.
Unfortunately, Carm passed away a few years back but I owe him a debt of gratitude. Not only did he change the course of my bat making for the better, but he taught me a very important lesson.
The best education doesn’t always come from a college professor in a campus lecture hall. Sometimes they come from the Italian guy next door who knew how to work with his hands and was a wealth of common sense.
Guys like Carm are American treasures and they are dying off at an alarming clip. The old guy next door knows more about life and how to get shit done than any college professor.
Education comes free. You just gotta pay attention and know where to find it. Thanks, Carm.
If you have a baseball player in your life, please consider a Powerhouse Bat. You can contact them several ways:
Copyright © 2018 – Stephen S. Nazarian & Scott Coene – All rights reserved.