Oklahoma has been home to many great baseball players. But, with names like Mickey Mantle, Warren Spahn and Johnny Bench, one could easily argue that baseball has been home to many great Oklahomans. Given our state’s pedigree, it’s no surprise then that a workshop in Choctaw is turning out some of the most beautiful baseball bats in the country.
On this month’s Gallery America, producer Susan Cadot gives us the play-by-play on Matt Floyd, Oklahoma’s very own Bat Man. The latest episode of Gallery America premieres at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 9 on the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA).
Floyd began making custom, wooden baseball bats five years ago in a large workshop behind his house. As temperatures rise, this former college ball player can be found at his lathe in the pre-dawn hours, working to fulfill orders before it gets too hot.
Floyd was looking for a way to make money that would allow him the ability to be home with his wife and three young boys, so, he started watching YouTube videos about how to make bats. Once he had the weight and balance requirements down, he was ready to play ball!
“Matt and his family represent what makes Oklahoma great,” said Cadot. “He’s opened up his workshop to teams, kids and the community. He has a heart for the game and the people who play it, both young and old.”
Floyd makes bats for several Oklahoma school teams, along with schools across the country. Along with making custom bats, and teaching classes on bat making, Floyd also offers private baseball lessons, group training, baseball camps and has built a practice field near his workshop.
Gallery America is OETAs Emmy award-winning arts and culture series. Gallery America captures the best Oklahoma has to offer in all forms of art, including dance, sculpture, education, music, painting, photography and performances.
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