The Rutto Bat

Our Beginning

Behind the scenes at Rutto Bats is the love story of a Kenyan immigrant and a girl from Massachusetts who, driven by a common devotion to make a contribution to the game and an impact on their communities, risked it all for the American Dream. Like the serendipitous love they found for one another, Kip and Mindy’s affair with baseball was unpredicted and evolved into the endeavor they now can’t live without.

Our History

Despite having rather unremarkable first MLB spectator experiences (including the shock of stadium Bud Light prices), Kip and Mindy remember a night that sealed their fate to forever be entangled with baseball. Eyes unblinking at 3:30am, they watched Dodgers’ Max Muncy deliver a ‘good morning’ walk-off home run from Red Sox’s Nathan Evoldi’s unlucky pitch to close out the 18th inning of game 3 of the 2018 World Series, a painful blow to the Boston Nation. Sleeping baby in her arms and adrenaline in their hearts, Mindy and Kip realized the high stakes, thrilling world of baseball was the place they wanted to be.

"Familiar and fulfilling work"

Our Story Banner

Fortunately, the arrival at this epiphany had already begun forming for the young couple. In 2016, Kip and Mindy had purchased a small sawmill in Western Massachusetts that had a long history of making and selling baseball and softball bat blanks to bat makers. Kip had dug his heels in for years, refining and perfecting techniques to achieve ideal, pro-quality wood dowels. It had been familiar and fulfilling work, bringing back memories of his childhood in Kenya: building houses, swinging sticks to harvest corn and beans, splitting firewood, and playing “catcher” while milking cows. But something was missing; even Kip’s mom would tease him for leaving his medical tech job to make “ketik ab mokomboik,” garden hoe handles!

Kip sanding

Logs to Bats

It wasn’t until the stillness of the pandemic shutdown that their vision became clear and their operation gained vigor. The young family channeled their resources and passion, took the leap, and began perfecting their craft to deliver on a finished product, Baseball Bats from logs to bats.  It was the beginning of their evolution to what is now Rutto Bats, The Paper City Bat Company!

Rutto Bats’ manufacturing process originated at their company mill in Belchertown, MA, and grew into the “Bat House,” the home of Kip and Mindy in Holyoke Massachusetts, where elite bats were individually finished, hand painted, branded and shipped all over the country. After bat processing engulfed every room of their home, the family worked to find & relocate to a proper facility. With great pride, they now operate out of a manufacturing space in the heart of their beloved City of Holyoke, where bats are readied to be swung in every heart-stopping play this iconic American pastime has to offer.

Kip and Mindy are devoted to every step of the bat creation process, from logs to bats, forest to ball field. The rewarding process fulfilling their undeniable mission: Bringing their special brand of bat to a game that is an elemental part of their love story, their family and their desire to contribute to the next generation ready to Serve the Game.

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