Grant helps bat maker stay in the game

Grady Phelan redesigned the knob on a baseball bat — an innovation for a product that hasn’t changed much in 130 years. He was one of five grand prize winners in a Wells Fargo Works Project contest.

Grady Phelan innovated a product that hasn’t changed much in 130 years.

Grady, a graphic designer and baseball enthusiast, created the ProXR bat, which has an ergonomic knob designed to improve a batter’s grip, reduce compression and improve performance. The innovative knob is slanted, which prevents the batter’s hands from rubbing against the conventional bat knob. It reduces the compression forces that cause hand and wrist injuries and it provides a more stable grip for the batter, meaning fewer thrown bats, according to Grady. It also improves performance, giving hitters quicker hands and more power transfer to the ball, says Grady.