Former Normal CornBelter hopes to hit homerun with latest business endeavor

Open For Business

From baseball player to now business owner, Justin Fletcher has taken his passion for the game and made it a successful hit out of the park.

A 91 ounce block of wood can be transformed into a batter’s best tool in the right hands.

“It’s a little bit fun for me,” said Pekin native, Justin Fletcher. He‘s no stranger to the baseball world. “I played in high school, played in college, played three years professionally.”

But the former Normal CornBelter decided to retire this off season to teach lessons at his batting center in Pekin and to design his own clothing apparel.

“I was looking for a way to stay in the game, stay involved with it and this was a great way to do that,” Fletcher said.

But he is stepping up to the plate with his latest hit making bats. As the owner of Oxwood Bat Company, Fletcher uses machinery to cut, sand, design and buff those blocks of wood.

But learning the art of the process started off as a challenge.

Fletcher said, “I knew about bats. I knew about the models and the specks. I knew what I liked, what I didn’t like, but I had no idea how to make a good wood bat.”

So for two months straight, Fletcher says he practiced his craft with cheap pine wood, ultimately mastering the process. Each bat is unique in its design and can take anywhere from 7-12 days to complete. But he says the time commitment is all worth it.

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