Louisville Slugger makes special bat for President Obama - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Slugger makes special bat for President Obama

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- Behind the genuinely larger-than-life Louisville Slugger bat that greets tourists as they enter the bat museum on West Main Street is a genuine story - about how the world's most famous bat maker made a special gift for the leader of the free world.

"It's cool I don't know a better word to describe it," said Derek Pfister, who manages the personalized bats for the factory.

'Cool' is Derek Pfister's word, but he admits there aren't enough to describe his most recent project.

"Well you know you can't put it in words. It was such a cool opportunity. We make a lot of neat bats for a lot of people. But you can't top the president, you definitely can't top U of L," Pfister said.

Pfister oversaw the effort to personalize Louisville Slugger bats for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

The gifts were presented to the commander-in-chief Tuesday by Coach Rick Pitino and the national champion U of L men's basketball team during a visit to the White House.

The president's signature was actually extracted off an autographed baseball which Obama signed while campaigning in the Louisville area during his first run for president in 2008.

"You'd be amazed what we can get them off of sometimes.

"That was the Obama signature that we were sent, and that's what we converted it into for laser," Pfister said describing the process of making an image to place on a Louisville Slugger bat.

The result: a piece of America's past time for an American president.

"I think it's a pride thing for everybody. Anyone that's born and raised here - if you don't get that pride, then you haven't been paying attention to what we've been through the last 30 years," Pfister said.

Making the deal even sweeter, Derek is die hard Cards fan.

"Lifelong U of L fan, I was named after Derek Smith. I would've been born in Albuquerque had they gone to the final four in 1979," he said.

Luckily for Derek the Cards' quest that year fell short - making him a Louisville native, a Louisville fan, and now a gift maker for the leader of the free world.

"It's not too many jobs that I can see a picture of the president holding something that I made."

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