The Pow’r Wrap bat weight was conceived in the fall of 1987 by Alan Wales and Scott Androff of Richfield, Minnesota. In 1989 they started Grand Enterprises West, Inc. (GEW) to market the weight.
The story behind the concept and development of the weight will forever be tied to the 1987 World Series.
In the fall of 1987, Scott, a softball fanatic, went looking to buy a donut batting weight to train with during the off season. To his amazement he could not find any warm-up weights for softball bats and after further research he learned the weighted donut was illegal for softball play. In fact, any attachable weight or device was illegal in softball leagues. His findings were mentioned to his childhood friend, Alan Wales, and they briefly discussed this oddity. They had both used donut weights, then a relatively new invention, during their little league and high school playing days, so why are they banned in softball leagues years later?
At the time the Minnesota Twins were in the hunt to go to their first World Series since 1965 and these die-hard baseball fans were focused on the Twins and not on inventing a batting weight. Weeks passed, the Twins made it into the World Series and by some rare luck a co-worker offered Alan two tickets to Game 2. Alan gave a ticket to Scott and before attending Game 2, they stopped at a restaurant located near the Metrodome. During their meal, the subject of the softball bat weight came up and the two proceeded to brainstorm about the actual design of the weight. With a borrowed pen from a waitress and some napkins, they started to work on different designs for the weight. They brought the pen and napkins to the game and in between innings they sketched more possible designs. Finally, before the seventh inning stretch they hit upon the now familiar sleeve design.
In the ensuing year while Alan did the engineering of the weight, Scott contacted the leagues and lobbied for the rules to be amended so the Pow’r-Wrap could be used on the field in the on-deck circle during softball games. After turning them down in 1989, saying they needed to do further testing, all the major softball associations (ASA, USSSA, NSA, NCAA) approved the Pow’r-Wrap in 1990. Even today, the Pow’r-Wrap bat weight is the only approved batting weight for all softball leagues. No other warm-up weight is allowed on the field.
Alan designed the baseball model of the Pow’r-Wrap in 1990. “We were surprised the baseball Pow’r-Wrap was so quickly accepted by MLB players since they already had donuts and weighted bats”, said Alan, “but the players like how the Pow’r-Wrap distributes the weight on the barrel of the bat and its durability. When I watch a game on TV, I’m conscious of the camera angles that show the on-deck circle. I still get a kick out of seeing a player using the ‘Wrap when warming up. I’ll never forget the 1987 World Series–not just because my favorite team finally won it but also because the Pow’r Wrap was conceived during one of the games and I now make a living selling my invention.”