Jack White once threw a strike to Santa Claus and liked the Cubs before they were cool (and apparently has disposable income warming in the bullpen), so it’s only somewhat surprising that he’s getting into the baseball business.
White has joined forces with Detroit Tigers’ second baseman Ian Kinsler as partners and co-investors in Warstic, an independent sporting goods company that designs wood and metal bats, gear and apparel for baseball and softball players. But as is often the case with the Third Man magnate, this is much more than a mere business venture.
“I discovered the Warstic company through my love of design,” White said in a statement. “I was drawn to…the simplicity and harshness of the designs. Most baseball bats and equipment in the sports world do not impress me much, but I think that there is a lot of room to explore aesthetic ideas in just baseball alone that can bring beauty and purpose to the weapons that athletes use to accomplish their goals.”
Founded in 2011 by Ben Jenkins, a former minor leaguer turned designer, Warstic makes bats out of American Ash, Maple and Birch woods, and is the preferred, uh, weapon of Kinsler, who went deep with a Black on Black Maple Warstic in his first game of the 2016 Major League Baseball season. He’s the first pro player represent the brand in the bigs, but according to a Warstic press release, the company – and White – are “currently hand-selecting a team of pro players that truly embody the warrior spirit of the brand and its lifestyle.”
“Warstic is incredibly inspiring to me,” White said, “and I think we can make beautiful objects for not only professionals, but also young children just beginning to understand how important the tools of the trade are to their passion for competition.”
Your move, Black Keys.