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Upstate family making hand carved bats, heading to the big leagues

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FOX Carolina - An Upstate startup is hoping to make it to the big leagues. The company is called Anchor Bats and is run by father and son duo, Eddie and Matthew Rollins.

They hand carve, sand, and paint each bat by hand inside Eddie Rollin's two-car garage at his home in Taylors. They said each bat is made of quality grade-A wood - something that can be hard to find.

"Making a bat is making a bat. One of the things we pride ourselves on is we get the best wood we can get," Eddie said. He also stated the idea first came about 10 years ago when he carved his first bat for Matthew, who at the time was playing baseball in high school and had his eyes set on the pros. He said in order to play in the pros he had to learn to hit with wood.

"I turned a few and they hit pretty good," Eddie said. Matthew's teammates took notice and soon he was making them for other players. "They started hitting and then it progressed into turning bats for teammates in college and summer ball," Eddie said.

Two years ago, the Rollins decided to turn their passion into a business and started Anchor Bat Company. Matthew says it was a hard decision, but in the end he decided to go all in. "We literally sold a ton of furniture in our house, we sold one of our cars, we are now a one-car family which is extremely difficult in the 21st century." 

But Matthew said their hard work is starting to pay off. Just two years into their venture, he said the bats are already used by a multitude of players around the world.

"Division 1 baseball. Division 2. We have a ton of collegiate ball players that are using us all the way down to little leaguers," Matthew said.

Thanks to social media, professional players in countries like Australia and the UK are also using their bats. He says within the last six months, interest has grown stateside. "We had five clubs that wanted to purchase our product for Spring Training and for their Major League Club," Matthew said.

He credits the success to the bats' quality. "We're in the running with the top two and three companies that have been around for 75 years, that have been around for the last decade, that have been around for the last five," Matthew said.

The company hopes to make and sell 5,000 bats in 2015. And while they'll soon be moving to a new, bigger space down the road from his father's home, he says their focus will still be on quality.

©2015 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation)

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