HOW'D IT ALL GET STARTED?
We like to think that the Pillbox Bat Co. started over two decades ago when Zak Fellman and Dan Watson were playing little league baseball together. Most games Zak was pitching and Dan was playing shortstop. We even made our first bat while we were in little league. Crafted from a tree limb and painted with house paint. A dozen or so of these homespun bats launched tennis balls and racquetballs in roughly organized home run derby's and pickup ballgames in the neighborhood.
WHAT'S IN A NAME:
Our name "Pillbox Bat Co." pays tribute to the old Downtown Park in St. Paul, Minn. So small that, nicknamed the "Pillbox", it is said that hits over the left and right field fences were only awarded two bases. Being pressed into service in 1903 by the new owner of the St. Paul Saints because he didn't think folks wanted to walk two miles from downtown to the nicer Lexington Ballpark, the Pillbox was not a thing of beauty. It serviced the Saints until 1909 when they moved back to Lexington Park. It was also home to the St. Paul Colored Gophers and even hosted a series in 1909, billed as the "world’s colored championship,” in which the Gophers beat the Leland Giants of Chicago.
You may find it an odd choice of stadium to pay homage to with our company name. But to us, the story of the Pillbox Ballpark, is the story of what baseball is all about. It's like that sand-lot place out back of your house that is just big enough to throw down a couple of mitts and a hat for bases, anoint someone all-time pitcher and strike up a game of stick-ball. It's that place that folks would go to after work to grab a beer and get into a fistfight during the seventh inning stretch. It's that place that everyone could take pride in because even if it was a sorry excuse of a ballpark, at least it was your sorry excuse of a ballpark - "and don't you dare say otherwise, you hear!"