Axe Bat has reached a licensing agreement with Tucci Lumber Bat Company, bringing the unique bat handle design to a third MLB-approved wood bat licensee.
"Tucci's manufacturing capabilities, product quality and professional connections make them an ideal partner for introducing more elite players to the benefits of swinging an Axe Handle bat," says Jay Helmick, senior vice president of Axe Bat.
Tucci, located in Norwalk, Connecticut, supplies MLB players such as Troy Tulowitzki and Pablo Sandoval. Axe Bat is owned by Baden Sports Inc., headquartered in Renton, Washington.
Unlike a conventional round knob, the Axe Handle was engineered to support the biomechanics of a swing, with the shape conforming to the natural contours of a player's wrist and palm to enable a more efficient swing that maximizes bat speed and improves barrel control. Axe Bat says that research also supports the claim that the design offers improved bat control and grip stability while reducing the risk of hand and nerve injuries commonly associated with a swing.
The design gained popularity in 2015 in the majors. At least three dozen MLB players were swinging an Axe Bat during the 2017 regular season and All-Star Game, including World Series MVP George Springer.
Two-time All-Star Mookie Betts serves as Axe Bat's lone paid MLB endorser and has used the Axe Handle bat exclusively since late 2015.
Tucci, the third wood-bat manufacturer to sign a licensing deal with Axe Bat, joins Victus Sports and Dove Tail Bats. Tucci was founded by Pete Tucci, a former first-round draft pick whose promising baseball career was derailed by a hand injury suffered while swinging a bat with an oversize round knob.
"Axe Handle bats are in demand at the highest levels and we're excited to be able to now offer them to our pro players," says Tucci. "We're looking forward to working with Axe Bat to deliver the best possible bat for every player's swing."
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.