Recently, we hosted Ian Desmond from the Colorado Rockies at our facility in Sarasota, FL. Ian is a long-time supporter and user of our batting tees, but today we showed him how a Tanner Tee is built.
Founder of the company, Joe Tanner, remembers Ian buying his first tee back in high school.
Station One: Friction Rings
The first part of building a Tanner Tee is building friction rings and preparing the upper assembly to receive a hand rolled top. Every Tanner Tee has two patented friction rings, built only in Sarasota, FL.
Cutting to Size
Ian skillfully (and safely) operates a chop saw during component production. Not sure his agent would appreciate seeing his hands around a chop saw so close to spring training, but we made sure he worked slow and smooth.
Installing the Flange onto the Bases
There are five screws per base. A two-man pit crew can do 240 bases per hour.
Rolling the Classic Tanner Tees FlexTopTM
Every Tanner Tee is hand rolled in Sarasota, FL. We follow a specific process developed by Joe Tanner twenty-five years ago and refined by our current team every day.
Mike explains how to roll a tightly wound cone and attach it to the upper assembly. The cone should be about one inch in diameter so the baseball sits high on the tee. Ian rolled this one extra tight, good for baseball, softball or even golf balls - if you are Scooter Gennett you know how fun that is.
On to the "Piping" Stage
Not giving up on rolling tops but admitting it’s an art and a science to get it right, Ian moved to what we call “piping”. Joe created the presses in his garage years ago to reduce the effort and increase the speed of connecting tee assemblies.
The Final Step: Labeling
The final step for Ian today was to assemble his custom tee – a matted-blacked Ian Desmond Special Edition tee with a label you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Testing it Out
The final test, launching one into the Tanner Tee lake. (Which was collected afterwards!)
Thank You Ian!
From all of us at Tanner Tees, we wish you a great season!