Spirit of America at the White House

Posted on July 07, 2020 | 3 Comments

Texas Timber Visits the White House

June 22nd was just a normal Monday until Joe received a call saying we had been invited to an event at the White House!  It was so out of the blue, at first we thought it wasn't a legitimate phone call.  But this was not a joke; we had been selected as one of eight companies to participate in the Spirit of America event which features American-made products.  And as part of the event we would have a meet and greet opportunity with the President of the United States!

For us, this was not about politics.  It doesn’t matter whom you vote for. This was our opportunity to highlight the fact that all of our bats are made in the U.S.A. We would have a chance to be surrounded by other companies who share a similar philosophy.  And it was our chance to visit the White House, not on a tour, but as a guest. 

The event was scheduled for July 2nd which meant we only had a little over ONE week to prepare.  How could we pull this all together?  Could we create a table display worthy of the White House in such a short amount of time?  So many risks were looming…the Covid-19 pandemic in full swing, continued protests over racism, a tense political environment, etc. But big opportunities don’t often come without risk.  So, we decided this was a once in a lifetime chance we could not refuse! 

We packed and re-packed our personal items and company display materials multiple times to figure out how to get them all on the plane without going over the weight limit, and we had an uneventful flight to Washington D.C.

Thursday, July 2nd – Spirit of America event day! We woke up at 5:45 a.m. (which felt like 4:45 a.m. Central time) but we were too excited and nervous to be tired.  Fortunately, Aimee’s sister (Allison) lives in the D.C. area and offered to drive and attend with us, which was a huge help!

The first step was driving through security. The Secret Service Police Vehicle Inspection Team and bomb sniffing K-9 dogs thoroughly checked our car while we stood to the side.  Every door, and even the hood of the car, was opened and searched. Good to know they are thorough at their job!  Next was a pedestrian security check that included an x-ray machine and another K-9 dog team before we were allowed into the White House for Covid-19 testing.




Covid tests were administered in comfortable chairs with the presidential seal.  All our tests came back negative, thank goodness!

Time to set up!  We were escorted down a beautiful hallway with red carpet (the same hallway President Trump had just used when we first arrived).


The event was hosted in the Entrance Hall, located between the State Dining Room and the East Room. Several companies had already set up, but our table was bare and our display bags were nowhere to be seen.  We were assured the Secret Service would be arriving soon with all of our things, so we waited. It was probably only ten minutes but it felt like an eternity. Luckily, we were able to set up in plenty of time and even had time to walk around and to talk with some of the other attendees.




The President was scheduled to arrive around 11:30 a.m., so by around 11:15 a.m. the media presence increased considerably.

Our hearts raced a little faster as the elevator doors opened and President Trump walked into the room and started talking to one of the companies on the other side of the hallway. We didn’t know how much time he would spend with each group, but he took a genuine interest in each company and asked several questions.  As he made his way down the line, our nerves started to set in, but so did the excitement.


And then it was our turn!  President Trump walked up and started asking about our bats and the type of wood we use.  He was engaging, gracious and kind. It wasn’t long before he decided to grab a couple of our bats and start swinging them around.  We heard a flurry of clicking cameras coming from the media, but we were so focused on answering President Trump’s questions, we didn’t pay too much attention.  We thought to ourselves, hopefully there would be at least one good shot of the president swinging our bat.  Little did we know what was actually happening during our conversation with the President.


POTUS swinging a 20 year old ash bat in half coat pecan color stain.

POTUS swinging a personalized maple bat with a cherry barrell and black handle.

It was time for us to take our assigned seats and listen to President Trump’s remarks.  When we sat down, Allison said, “You guys were on TV!”  We were shocked because we had no idea our conversation with the president was broadcast live!  The president gave his remarks on the importance of American-made products and highlighted some recent job report information.  It felt surreal sitting just a couple of chairs away from the podium as he spoke. 


The Spirit of America wrapped up and we began to take down our display. As we were doing so, several White House staffers came up and showed us that the picture of the President swinging our bat was already being circulated on Twitter and Instagram.  That evening we saw ourselves on the national Nightly News, TMZ Sports, and the BBC.  Several people forwarded other news articles with our picture. We are so grateful and honored to have our “moment” captured in time!

As much as we wanted to linger and explore the White House, it was time for us to go.  We rolled our bags down some stairs and through a hallway where foreign dignitaries are welcomed when they visit. We turned in our visitor badges and walked out the gate. 

It was truly a privilege to participate in an event highlighting American-made products.  We are forever grateful to President Trump and the White House staff for extending the invitation to Texas Timber.



Below is a list of the other companies who participated in Spirit of America 2020.  These are all great companies and we can’t recommend them enough!








    The Silent Natural – Hoy for the Hall

    Posted on June 08, 2019 | 22 Comments


    I had never heard of William (Dummy*) Hoy.  But once I learned his inspirational true story, I knew I wanted to share it with as many people as possible.  We had the privilege of designing a baseball bat as part of the effort to raise awareness of his story in hopes to have him inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    When it came to baseball, William Hoy had a natural gift.  During his rookie year he led the National League in stolen bases.  But it was his disability that ultimately had the biggest impact on baseball.  William was deaf.  As it stands today, there are NO deaf baseball players in the baseball Hall of Fame.

    During the 1880s, few people used sign language and certainly no one used it in baseball.  Imagine trying to play baseball when you can’t hear and are too far away to read the umpire’s lips.  Imagine other players (some of them on your own team) talking behind your back and hiding their mouths so you couldn’t read their lips.   On one particularly hard day, William let three pitches go by because he thought they were balls.  As he stood waiting for his next pitch, the pitcher started pointing and laughing and people in the stands started laughing as well. It was after that low-point William had an inspirational idea.  He wrote a note to the umpire and asked him to raise his right hand for a strike and his left hand for a ball.  He also asked him to use American Sign Language symbols for safe and out.  The use of these hand signals spread and soon his teammates, other teams, and even the fans began to rely on them as part of the game.  William was not the only person to introduce hand signals but he did work with umpires to develop a number of signs.

    We believe William Hoy deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.  In 2018 he was selected as Most Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend.  In 2019, he was selected as the Great Ohioan Award by the Ohio Statehouse.  Nancy Churnin has written a children’s book titled The William Hoy Story in hopes that kids would help write letters to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.   A movie called The Silent Natural had a premier last weekend and is based on the life of William Hoy. Texas Timber has supported his Hall of Fame nomination by being a member of the Hoy for the Hall committee, being the lead designer of the Hoy for the Hall bat, donating a bat to the Gallaudet University baseball team and by being a constant voice for this baseball innovator, William Dummy Hoy. 

    If you would like to write a letter to support William Hoy’s nomination to the Hall of Fame, please send a letter to the following address:

    National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
    25 Main Street,
    Cooperstown, NY 13326

    *During William’s time Dummy was a common name for people who were deaf and mute.  William who was proud of being deaf and referred to himself as Dummy.



    If you would like to purchase a Hoy for the Hall baseball bat, click here to support our efforts to bring awareness to this special cause:

    Hoy for the Hall Special Edition Bat



    Going Gold for Grace

    Posted on September 05, 2018 | Posted under Battle, Childhood Cancer, Gold for Grace, How you Live, Story behind the Bat, Why you Live | 16 Comments


    Crafting our first-ever gold colored bat back in 2015 was about so much more than a pretty color.  It was about honoring one of the smallest and bravest heroes we have met.   

    In May of 2015 the Byrd family was busy juggling work and family as they raised their 15-month-old triplets Grace, Elizabeth, and Thomas.  On May 22, their world was turned upside down when Grace was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Nothing can prepare you for a cancer diagnosis.  Especially a cancer diagnosis for your own young daughter.

    Surviving triplets is one thing, but parenting triplets while navigating chemotherapy treatments, multiple hospital visits, a weakened immune system, etc. is almost impossible to comprehend.  But the Byrds used every ounce of energy to help Grace fight the battle and in September of 2017 she took her last dose of chemo and she has been free of cancer since.  We will never forget attending the End of Treatment Party for Grace!  It was the best kind of celebration!

    In baseball, every “at-bat” is a battle.  But “winning the battle” took on a new meaning for us as we watched Grace fight for her life.  It was our sincere honor to craft a gold bat for this brave warrior!  And yet, since making her bat we have seen that fighting cancer is really not a battle.  It is life-changing and complex.  To say somebody lost their battle to cancer implies that person could have done more to win, but we know that is not the case. Cancer outcomes are determined by the tumor type, stage of cancer, and available treatments.  “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live” – Stuart Scott (former ESPN anchor who died of cancer). 

    As we witnessed the Byrd’s battle with cancer, we were shocked to learn how little funding goes towards childhood cancer research.  Only 4%!  September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, so please spread the word and let’s do better than 4%. The Childhood Cancer Awareness ribbon color is Gold.  Let’s Go Gold for Grace and all the other brave children fighting to win the battle! 

    The Byrds have registered a fundraiser with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer to help make a difference in the fight against pediatric cancer.  If you would like to donate, please use this link: http://cookiesforkidscancer.org/fundraiser/rockwall2018



    Spencer Speirs – “Safe At Home”

    Posted on November 16, 2017 | Posted under Dad, Inspiration, Safe at Home, Son, Story behind the Bat, Texas Timber | Leave a Comment

    Throughout the years, Texas Timber has crafted bats for heroes of all types!  We are excited to share these personal stories “behind the bat.”  Thank you all for allowing us to be part of your story, we are truly honored and humbled to have connected with so many incredible families and individuals.  

    Spencer Speirs – “Safe At Home”

    November 2017

    When we heard Spencer’s story, we were instantly touched because he was simultaneously dealing with one of life’s greatest joys, the pending birth of his son Wyatt, while also dealing with the reality that his time on earth was limited.  His condition was so serious, no one knew if he would be able to witness the birth of his own son. 

    Spencer was a longtime baseball fan who enjoyed attending Texas Rangers baseball games with his Grandpa Charles and his brother Seth.  The love of baseball runs deep throughout the family.  His sister Hannah Speirs is currently known as the Texas Rangers Dancing Usher and is an inspiration and encouragement to so many. 

    Spencer wanted to share his love of the game with his son in hopes that Wyatt would remember his dad’s passion for baseball.  Spencer’s condition continued to worsen, but on February 3, 2014 we were full of joy to hear Spencer witnessed the birth of his son!  We had the honor of making a baby bat to commemorate Wyatt’s birth.  

    Twenty one days later on February 24, 2014 Spencer passed away.  As a tribute, his brother Seth requested a bat with the inscription “Safe At Home.” 

    Once he gets older, Wyatt will be able to hold the baseball bat his father once held.  And although their time together on earth was too brief, it is heartwarming to know these two generations connected on earth and will reconnect someday in their heavenly home. 




    How to Hit with a Wood Bat - Ash, Birch and Maple

    Posted on November 18, 2013 | Posted under Ash, Birch, How to Hit with a Wood Bat, Maple | Leave a Comment