In the winter of 2008 the President of the Beaver River Central School Booster club approached Bob Lyndaker, who had a son playing on the high school baseball team.
“Bob, what do you think about putting up an outfield fence?” the president asked.
Bob's reply, “I think it's a great idea...as long as it's safe.”
That began the journey of looking for a fence that he felt would be safe enough for his son's team. After countless hours of dead-end searches for products that allowed playability for both the outfielders and the batters, Bob came up empty handed. The outfield fences that he did find were either too dangerous or too flimsy for outfielders to run up against. Also, these fences were set so far back (again for outfielder safety) that a batter could never even dream of hitting a true “home-run”.
It then occurred to Bob that if the fence that the school wanted didn't exist, maybe he could make one!
All that spring and summer Bob began late nights of working the math, the angles, and the mechanics. This led to more late nights of design and prototype production in his basement and garage. Quite literally he was designing a fence from the ground up. After running the idea by some engineers and getting their approval he felt that he had something that would work.
Bob gathered a few friends to discuss the idea and show them a prototype he had created. Before he knew it four friends were forging a partnership to design and manufacture a baseball fence.
Bob was joined by Mickey Lehman, whose daughter played on the girl's softball team, and by Dave Moore, whose son played along side Bob's son on the baseball team. Another Bob; Bob Chamberlian, joined in as well. He had been the cross-country coach for the school as well as a teacher there.
Together these men formed the partnership that today is Grand Slam Safety, LLC.
With a fence, some friends, and a lot of support from family and the school, the partners installed the first full size prototype fence at Beaver River Central School in July of 2009. Over the rest of the summer they tested, tweaked and tried new ideas. That winter, those ideas were incorporated into what would be known as the “Safety Fence”. When the spring baseball season of 2010 came, the students of Beaver River had a state of the art (and the worlds first) “Safety Fence”, by Grand Slam Safety, LLC.
As the Baseball/Softball Fencing System developed, and other schools started to hear about it, the partners soon realized that the fencing system wasn't just a good idea – it was a good business. Soon they were filling orders for other schools who wanted fences. The idea was catching on; and with the fences being so easily customized to each field's dimensions and needs, the partners quickly realized the potential to go beyond just baseball/softball fields.
Soon a partnership was formed with SlamDiabetesTM to provide outfield fencing for their fund-raising plastic bat-n-ball Tournaments. Development was started on a Tennis Court Containment System to provide safety for players and view-ability for spectators. Next came the development of the Field House Containment System, which was first installed in the fall of 2014 at Accelerate Sports in Whitesboro, NY. Accelerate Sports was the first sports complex in the country to have this revolutionary new safety product.
Over this time period Grand Slam Safety, LLC had outgrown Bob Lyndaker's garage, and even a small barn that Bob Chamberlain was providing. The partners knew it was time to open up a proper design and manufacturing facility. Committed to building up their hometown economy and keeping jobs local, the partners decided to buy an old production plant along the banks of the Beaver River in Croghan, NY. This 60,000 sq/ft facility was soon transformed into the working center of the Grand Slam Safety enterprise.
Who would have known that when Bob Lyndaker started designing and sewing a fence in his basement, a dream was born that is taking root today. Grand Slam Safety is providing exceptional safe fencing products for sports and beyond while upholding a vision of growing the local economy and providing jobs for their community.
Grand Slam Safety, LLC now has fences being installed in many different areas in the United States and has a sales office in the growing markets of Korea and Asia.
From an idea to a reality - from our desire for quality and safety to your desire for craftsmanship and reliability – Grand Slam Safety is continuing to lead the way. Thank you to everyone who's cheered us on.
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