ANDOVER, Kan. — Any Monday afternoon, you can find Todd Hook doing some woodworking in his garage.
Surrounded by what looks like every tool ever made, he whittles on long racks of wood and leaves a nice layer of sawdust on his Wrigley Field sign and Shocker baseball poster. But look closer at that chunk of wood, and you can tell this is no ordinary stool or chair - Hook is making a baseball bat. A wood one, and a good one.
"Everything is done by hand here - nothing is done by machine," Hook says inside his "shop" outside Andover. "So nothing is going to be the same. Every bat is going to be a fraction of an ounce different. And believe me this was a long process to get here. We made 50-60 bats before we had a product we could take out in public."
A guidance counselor at Campus High School, he runs Hook Bats and makes about 50 bats a year, serving high school and college kids around the region. One of his bats reached the Double-A levels with the Boston Red Sox.