When Hodad was hired by DeMarini founder Ray DeMarini in 1999, he was tasked with designing graphics for DeMarini baseball bats. Now, Hodad is a coveted asset in the baseball bat industry, as he is DeMarini's Creative Director churning out unique bat designs every day.
Hodad is the "Bat Man" of DeMarini, the rock star of the baseball bat world, and the All-Star responsible for the creative designs on your DeMarini baseball bats. JustBats caught up with Hodad to ask him about DeMarini, baseball bats, and what makes him tick:
How did you get started with DeMarini?
I met Ray DeMarini in 1997 while working at the sign & design studio, PVS/Opus in Portland, Oregon. The studio was always helping Ray with some crazy photo or video shoot. Eventually, I was fortunate to help develop graphics for some early bats -- a Fastpitch model, the Julie Smith, the first DeMarini baseball bat -- the Doublebarrel and the Ultimate Distance Slowpitch model.
What--in your opinion--makes DeMarini a leader in bats?
Being unique. While other bat companies have outsourced a lot of product the past 20 years, we strived to keep our design, manufacturing, and assembly in Oregon. Also, a large part of our philosophy is to create bats that we would want to hit so they reflect the personalities and quirks of the people that are a part of the company.
What enhancements to bats is DeMarini working on for future versions?
We're always looking at ways we can manipulate materials and utilize new manufacturing techniques to make a bat that feels like it was custom-made for each player. In regards to graphics, I am always exploring ways the player can express themselves through color and design. We now offer the ability to colorize and personalize your bat and we have some more insane options coming soon.
Which--in your opinion--are the best DeMarini bats?
The best DeMarini is always the one you hit the ball the farthest with! For graphics, I do have some favorites -- Anton Kimball's mid-90's design for the Distance is a classic that still holds up today. The first Voodoo skull, drawn by our very own Kyle Yount, changed the way a lot of people think about baseball bat graphics. But, my favorite designs are always the ones I'm currently working on; I enjoy the process of finding things around me that influence the work and seeing where that takes the design.
What's your favorite part of working with JustBats?
For a lot of aspiring players, deciding what the best bat for them is not always an easy thing to figure out. You guys (JustBats) do a great job of providing excellent research tools, a huge selection of the best brands, and, of course, sweet deals on DeMarini bats.
What's something about DeMarini bats that not a lot of people may know?
We've named bats after X-Men characters.
Anything else you'd like DeMarini fans to know?
Keep hittin' it daily!
JustBats thanks Hodad for taking the time to answer questions about DeMarini baseball bats. If you have any questions about DeMarini baseball bats or softball bats, contact the pros at JustBats at 1-866-321-2287.