Steve Sackmann, Pinkerton Academy’s woodworking and manufacturing teacher, and Astro varsity baseball coach Stephen Campo recently donated several wooden, “Pinkerton made” baseball bats to the Hampstead Association of Softball and Baseball.
Sackmann, looking for a way to connect Pinkerton’s wood shop program to the community at large, developed the idea for his woodworking students to create wooden baseball bats for the Hampstead Cal Ripken League baseball players, ages 11 to 15. It introduces a peer-to-peer perspective to the class, as they are providing a product that is hand-made by students, for students.
“For me, it is a huge component of teaching my students to engage in teamwork and collaboration. The actual construction of these bats is very precise, and it teaches my students about tolerances and measurement. It has all the components of the perfect lesson,” Sackmann said about the project.
For the past 30 years, wooden bats have been replaced by aluminum and composite metal bats at the youth, high school, and collegiate levels. Players today do not experience the feeling of a wooden bat making contact with a ball or the sound of the bat when a ball is struck. However, with the help of Sackmann and his students, Hampstead players will now have the opportunity to give these old school bats a try. Hampstead baseball is part of the Quintown League, and has enjoyed a rich tradition over many years, offering it’s players spring league baseball, summer tournament teams, the Cooperstown Dreams Park team, fall baseball, and winter clinics.
Though this project was part of a pilot program this year, Sackmann explained that he plans to perfect it and put it into full swing next fall with his advanced students. He hopes to make it an annual opportunity for any sports league interested in working with Pinkerton Academy.
Pinkerton Academy’s woodworking program is open to project proposals from the community. If you are interested in proposing a project, you may reach out to Sackmann himself or to Jennifer Haskins, Pinkerton’s CTE director.