07/19/2024

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An Iowa boy has left social media in awe by making an impressive baseball bat out of a fallen tree branch he found in his yard.

Tommy Rhomberg, 12, of Mount Vernon, was out with his family to help clean up after last week’s Storm Drecho caused considerable damage in the state. That’s when Tommy stumbled across a large tree branch and decided to create something unique for his friend Walker.

“I just wanted to make a nice gift for my friend. I knew he loved baseball, and I just saw the perfect branch, so I knew I wanted him to be a baseball bat,” Rhomberg told Yahoo Life.

Rhomberg, who plays sports such as baseball, basketball and football, added that in four days, he was able to complete his special gift.


“I started peeling the bark with a knife. Then my dad found his dad’s peeling tool. I just started using it and it made it better,” he said.

The bat maker named his creation “The Great 2020 Derecho” after the storm, and it was born out of a coincidence of Walker’s actual birthday. The bat was well received by the new owner.


Rhomberg’s mother, Amanda Rhomberg, told Yahoo Life she wasn’t surprised her son decided to take on such a project.

“A project like this is a very Tommy thing,” she said. “He’s always been a creator and inventor, loves to make things, loves to work with his hands. I’ve watched him sculpt it from the beginning. He just works and works. When he stains it and paints it in polyurethane, he Hanging it in the garage to dry and then… my jaw nearly dropped to the ground.”

Both mother and son agreed that they were surprised by the bat’s response online, which Amanda hopes will remind others that “good things can come from anything” and the importance of getting children’s hands dirty.

“Kids these days, [it seems] to be a very popular thing to play video games or play with your phone,” she said. “I think it’s almost a lost art of just going out and working with your hands. Method.”

Rhomberg’s bats are so popular that he has received countless requests to make more bats, which he will sell through his website. He plans to donate $20 from each purchase to help with the recovery of Greater Cedar Rapids, an area hit hard by Storm Drecho.

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