DENVER — Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez will have a little extra “boom” in his bat during the Home Run Derby at Coors Field Monday evening.
Perez tweeted a picture of the tricked-out bats he plans to use, and they don’t look like anything he’s used before.
The baby blue bats, are full of symbolism, and close to Perez’s heart, according to the artist who helped create them.
The seven-time All Star worked with artist Bruce Tatem at Victus Sports to design and customize the bats. Tatem said Perez contacted Victus and already had several designs in mind, but the two ended up with an airbrushed baby blue option. It includes Salvy’s logo and number in gold, and a crown to represent the Kansas City Royals.
Each bat is hand painted, and takes about an hour to paint. Salvy’s order took five or six hours, not including drying time.
Tatem said he wanted to make sure the design could be easily reproduced, if it becomes popular enough.
Popularity doesn’t seem to be a problem, if Perez’s fans on twitter are any indication. A picture he tweeted showing off the bats already has more than 5,000 likes.
Victus Sports is located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The company has designed bats for MLB athletes since 2012. But it wasn’t until about two years ago when Tatem joined the team.
“The more bats I did in the beginning the more of a knack I got the layout and the best process,” Tatem said. “I usually will rotate the bat as I complete each section of it. Having a good game plan at the start helps me keep moving forward rather than going have to repeat steps.”
Tatem started off his career airbrushing motorcycle designs, but said since he joined Victus, he designs custom baseball bats for pro athletes, including some of the biggest stars in Major League Baseball.
You may remember Bryce Harper’s “We the People” bat. Harper used the custom bat to win the Home Run Derby in 2018.
Or the image of Fernando Tatis, Jr. mirrored on his customized bat.
They’re both from Victus Sports. Tatem has even designed custom bats featuring MLB mascots and pencils.
Tatem has an entire Instagram account dedicated to his designs. Follow him @tha_bat_king to see more of his work.