In the Beginning
The DeMarini Sports company had its start in 1989 and after 3 years they celebrated massive success.
The three-year-old company was able to climb a long way up the ladder, this lead to the move of their world headquarters, previously in a dirty-floored barn to a slightly larger metal shack.
A popular quote from Rav DeMarini, after this success is when he said,
“It was a big move for us,”. Now a days you can find DeMarini in the the batting cage of DeMarini Sport’s present-day Bat Industrial Complex.
DeMarini also recalls,
“The new shop was larger, more storm resistant, and -best of all- it had a heater.”
There was a time that, DeMarini was not even a thought in anyone’s mind, especially in the world of Softball.
DeMarini’s growth has been exceptional, with no advertising budget and retailers they sold bats directly to the consumer.
When other bat companies were concentrating on selling bats for pros and ordinary bats for the public. DeMarini focused on making one type of high-performance bat to be used for pros and amateurs alike.
The companies passion for sport combined with quality performance designed bats, is what has lead to great innovation in the Softball sector.
Some of Demarini’s achievements are as follows:
The DeMarini Doublewall
This is the world’s first multi-wall bat. It was released in 1993.
Likened to a modern golf driver or an oversized tennis racket, the great advantage of the Doublewall was it’s giant “sweetspot,”.
This gave even the most average players the ability to hit like pros. This innovation lead to DeMarini’s sales exploding.
Naturally after this explosion in sales opposing bat manufacturers have attempted to produce Doublewall knockoffs.
This was a milestone of DeMarini – a homegrown company created by a softball fanatic who was able to shake the baseball bat establishment also.
A Bit About Ray DeMarini
The rise of any company always has a driving force and Ray DeMarini is that force.
Ray was a cult hero amongst fans that follow Baseball, entering the softball scene at the age of 40.
He had a scientific way of playing and training for for baseball, his batting average reaching the speed of 96 miles-per-hour mark and he had a bombastic attitude.
All of these qualities earned DeMarini the reputation of being a savage competitor.
ESPN, in 1987 started a search for a player to advise on an instructional Softball video they wanted to make.
The prime person recommended for for this instructional video, produced by Lythe, was five-foot-seven softball giant Ray DeMarini.
DeMarini is known to have mastered reflex hitting, this is a technique that drops the ball squarely between the infield and outfield.
This impressive scientific knowledge and approach to training is what made Lytle hire Ray as an adviser.
This partnership was the making of DeMarini’s Reflex Hitting System. This has been the most successful home video to date, by ESPN.
This exposure allowed Ray to get national recognition. Which in turn allowed Ray to turn his efforts to designing a high-performance bat for the masses.
Ray found the perfect engineer in Mike Eggiman. Rays exact words for the engineer that he wanted was, that he needed. “Not just an engineer, but a boot-strapping rocket scientist who could build an empire with pocket change.”
A Little Bit About Eggiman.
Eggiman, was a man that had grown up on the farm, which is where he drew strength from it also made him resilient and enterprising.
Nothing demonstrates his enterprising nature more than the fact that the company’s first piece of automated bat-making equipment was made from an abandoned washing machine.
Mike Eggiman as Chief Engineer, was a pioneer for DeMarini Sports delivering a range of industry firsts, such as;
- The multi-wall bat (Doublewall Distance)
- An high-performance bat for massive players (Fatboy)
- A high-performance youth bat (Black Coyote).
In 2000, DeMarini created a partnership with Wilson Sporting Goods and together they created the next generation of hitting technology.
Ray felt it was the perfect partnership, as both companies shared a vision of developing game-enhancing equipment for the modern day players.
Rays choice was further supported by Wilsons complimentary products, such as them being leaders in gloves, balls and protective gear, while DeMarini makes the world’s finest bats.
The Death of Ray
Unfortunately in December 2001, after 12 years of development and innovation, Ray DeMarini died of cancer in his Northwest Portland home.
Ray was just 55 years old when he died. After his death respects were paid to him, (the man formely know as the “King of Softball”) with the dedication of Ray DeMarini Field.
This was a fitting gesture as the Delta #1 field was known to be DeMarini’s favorite place to test bats during the early days of business.
Ray will forever be remembered for the his high-performance softball bats and relentless encouragement of every and any player.
Today you can find a 40 foot sign that introduces you to the RAY DEMARINI Field. This is accompanied by a display that chronicles Ray’s life.
The release of the 2002 Doublewall F2 and 2003 in the Singlewall Vexxum, is the first Half & Half Technology to combine a composite handle with an aluminum alloy barrel.
The bat is virtually indestructible, the two-piece structure is able to flex upon impact, and then recoil with a burst of ball-launching energy.
This two-piece system also redistributes weight to help achieve optimal balance, giving players that ability to swing faster with less energy.
So the next time you think of buying a Demarini bat, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.
Some of the top Demarini bats are as folllows:
- Demarini Voodoo ,2011, 2012, 2015
- Demarini Voodoo Softball Bat
- Demarini Fastpitch Bat
- Demarini Slowpitch Bat
They also have the little and big barrel ranges, so if you like a smaller barrel you can go for that. As with all good bat companies you have a choice of material, composite, aluminium and wood. You can have a look at The Easton Mako Bat History here.