SSK Signs First MLB Pitcher, Noah Syndergaard, to Bat Deal
Corrrection: The story previously incorrectly stated that Syndergaard was the first first pitcher with a bat deal. A number of other pitchers in the past have had bat deals including Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson and many others.
Noah Syndergaard doesn’t have the nickname Thor without reason. He’s earned it—well, for a pitcher—with four home runs in his career and a two-home run game while visiting Dodger Stadium in 2016. So SSK decided to put some marketing power behind the power of the New York Mets' star and make Syndergaard its first pitcher in Major League Baseball with a bat deal.
SSK signed the All-Star as its Chief Creative Officer and bat designer, giving him his own line of Thor’s Hammer bats, available in youth and full-size models. The SSK Thor’s Hammer NS34 gives SSK a little logo time for when fans continue to search #pitcherswhorake and come up with the home run-belting Syndergaard.
“We are very excited about SSK’s new partnership with Noah Syndergaard and Noah’s vision in helping us launch this innovative and out-of-the-box idea,” Nell Kucich, vice president of marketing for SSK Baseball USA, told Baseball America. “He’s an elite player that fits in very well with our 2018 roster, as well as our company’s premium products.”
Kucich says that even though most youth players who pitch also hit through the majority of their baseball careers, there was no product featuring a star pitcher to cater to these two-way players.
“Our partnership with Noah was a no-brainer because he’s one of the most marketable players in baseball and we’ll sell bats to youth pitchers that hit and every other fan of Syndergaard,” Kucich said.
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With the partnership, expect to see a new matte paint design—new for SSK—on the adult Thor’s Hammer NS34, based on Syndergaard’s creative direction. The wood-bat model is new for SSK, using the same wood as other bats in the line, but built off the preferred specifications of Syndergaard.
Moving forward, SSK wants to see pitchers participate in the home run derby.
“I think it would be great for baseball to highlight the hidden talents of these pitchers,” Kucich said, “and SSK would have a great design for Noah to showcase if it ever happened.”
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.