RIDGWAY, IL (KFVS) - He's only a rookie, but Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has made quite a name for himself this season.
Schwarber's success has made a name for one southern Illinois manufacturer as well.
Ridgway, Ill. is the home to Dinger Bats, the official bat supplier of Schwarber since 2014.
Dinger co-owner Randy Drone said it started with an idea from his oldest son Kyle.
Kyle played catcher in the minor leagues and noticed a lot of players complaining about the poor quality of their bats.
"Our business plan was 'hey dad, let's make ball bats' and I bought a lathe," Randy Drone said. "So if we thought about we might not have done it."
Thirteen years later, pros like Starling Marte, Matt Adams, Kolten Wong, Brad Wilkerson and Bryce Harper have all held Dinger bats at the plate in the Major Leagues.
All the work is done in house by five employees.
Drone said Dinger will make and ship about 25,000 bats this year. That's their largest production yet.
"If you get a player to use them and they like them they'll ask their club house manager to order Dinger bats," Drone said. "And that's our challenge. You're only as good as their last at bat."
So far, Dinger has been up to the task.
"When the crew sees what their product is doing on the Major League level, it really inspires them to do a better product. It's exciting. It's something if your love to do, it's not a job."