East-valley (AZ) residents, Stephen Rauso and Philip Rauso, Jr.* invented a device that everyone within MLB, including bat manufacturers, have been searching for. Everyone within Major League Baseball has been working continuously to find a fix for this potentially deadly problem without success. That’s where the Rauso brothers fit into this whole scenario. While driving home to Gilbert, Arizona through the California desert in July 2008, Stephen was inspired after hearing a news report about a woman that was severely injured while attending a baseball game. The broken barrel of the bat flew into the stands and struck her in the head shattering her jaw. She was required to have titanium plates surgically inserted to reconstruct portions of her face. That’s when Stephen realized there is a special type of polymeric tape that is used to protect RV’s and automobiles from road chips and damage that might be able to help fix this safety problem with solid-wood bats.
Stephen has over 17 years experience selling RV’s and travels to and from California every week to support his wife and three young children. His brother Philip, who is a Gold Canyon, Arizona resident, has over 25 years experience in the engineering field working for such companies as Boeing Aerospace and Ross Products. Philip also happens to be the designer the Gold Canyon, Arizona flag. With that being said, Stephen figured he would ask his brother Philip if there was a way he could use his engineering skills to help take his idea and make it a reality.
After the Rauso brothers invested thousands of combined man-hours in research and development in Gold Canyon, they were able to come up with a design that exceeds the requirements and rules that MLB has regarding the use of baseball bats in professional game-play. This was not an easy task considering MLB Rule 1.10 states that any substance or material is prohibited 18” above the handle of the bat, but any type of tape or substance is allowed on the bottom 18″ of the bat. What the Rauso brothers developed and received Patent Pending status for is a special type of tape, applied to a solid-wood baseball bat or any solid-wood object, a certain type of way. It’s so brilliantly designed it can be applied by the player in the dugout within a matter of seconds before entering the batters box or it can be applied at the bat manufacturers. The options for using this invention are endless. Cricket bats, rowing oars, hockey sticks and even solid-wood furniture would benefit from it.
After testing hundreds of bats in local batting cages in Arizona and California, Major League Baseball started to take notice of their invention. MLB had no other choice but to issue the Rauso brothers testing protocols at the MLB research facilities located at University of Lowell/UMASS. The tests required the Rauso brothers invention to be subject to baseballs fired from an air cannon at speeds ranging between 125-198 mph. Any solid wood bat tested without the invention shattered into deadly, spear type fragments, but the solid-wood bats that had the invention applied to it stopped the bat from separating into multiple pieces. Every test sequence and protocol Major League Baseball issued to the Rauso brothers had a 100% success rate. [EDIT: Here is the Lowell Report 12_15_09, in pdf]
The amazing thing about this invention is that it is nearly invisible to the naked eye and does not change the dynamics, performance or exit speed of the baseball or the performance of the bat. It also makes the solid-wood bat more durable, as stated in the certified testing reports from Lowell/UMASS and can be removed and recycled after the bat is no longer usable. The research center also filmed high-speed videos of every test showing their invention performing with perfect results. These test results and videos got the attention of Arizona Diamondbacks President & CEO, Derrick Hall and immediately had the Rauso brother’s invention implemented within the minor leagues to get true on-field test results. Again, their invention was 100% successful in every way. At that point, Mark Grace, former Diamondbacks first-baseman and FOX Sports Arizona announcer immediately did a 3-Part Series about the Rauso brother’s invention and called the pregame show The Dangers of Broken Bats. [EDIT: the videos appear below.]
Today, Major League Baseball and bat manufacturers have no choice but to take the Rauso brothers seriously. Before they invented this safety device, MLB and their affiliates were excluded from any type of lawsuits due to injuries because there was no way to prevent a bat from separating and becoming a speared weapon, but all that has changed now. MLB and their affiliates are now aware there is a way to prevent these serious injuries, as stated in the certified MLB Research Center Lowell report. With approximately 6 million solid-wood bats made every year in the United States alone, the total cost of implementing the Rauso brother’s invention is approximately $4 per bat… a mere drop in the bucket for MLB and their affiliates to eliminate serious injuries and possible death.
The Rauso brothers have come up with a multi-million dollar invention and they both did it without any major outside investors in less than 24 months. This is a true story of two dedicated brothers living the American dream and we should all be proud to say it happened in Gold Canyon, Arizona. You can watch the FOX Sports pregame show with Mark Grace featuring the Rauso brothers and their invention at: www.BatGlove.com or on YouTube’s “FOX Sports Arizona Network” using the keywords “Dangers of Broken Bats” [EDIT: the videos appear below].
*NOTE: Phil Rauso, Jr. is in need of a matching donor for a bone-marrow transplant because of a rare Italian American blood disease, Sickle Cell Anemia. He is listed with the National and European donor banks with the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson. His brother Steve does not have the disease and tried to have his red-blood stem cells matched with his brother Phil, but the test results were negative. After learning of the health, physical, and financial hardships these brothers have faced together while developing this invention, we should all be inspired to never give up no matter what type of obstacles stand in our way.
Thank you, Justyna.
I’ve been riding this horse for a long time. I’ll continue to do so until a solution, any solution, is adopted. I know there are those at MLB and other places who are probably not so keen on myself and others talking about this subject and solution, but it’s too easy, too cheap, too close to avoid it any longer. We don’t need to wait for anyone else to get seriously hurt, or worse. There’s no need for someone to suffer and allowing it to happen would be a major mistake, a black mark on baseball. Let’s do something now, MLB, while we can. Get in front of the situation.
[I have no financial interest or investment in BatGlove, Inc.]
Here’s the video of Mark Grace discussing the BatGlove:
And here’s Diamondbacks President & CEO Derrick Hall on the product and its effectiveness:
And if you like slow motion and things gettin’ all busted up, here’s the maple bat tests, with and without BatGlove:
And for kicks, here’s the same with ash bats, with and without BatGlove:
Part 1 of the Fox Sports Arizona series:
Part 2 of the Fox series:
Part 3 of the Fox series: