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Valpo's Hoosier Bat Co. highlighted in American-made holiday gift guide

Hoosier Bat Co.'s Dave Cook demonstrates how bats are sanded after being cut on a lathe at the Valparaiso bat manufacturer.

If you're looking to support manufacturing jobs in America, you could buy gifts this holiday season from companies like Hoosier Bat Co. in Valparaiso that do all their production in the United States.

The Alliance for American Manufacturing, a collaboration between the United Steelworkers union and leading manufacturers, recommended the Valparaiso-made wooden baseball bats in its 2018 Made in America Holiday Gift Guide.

"We know it isn't always easy to find 'Made in America' products out there, especially during the hectic holiday season," the Alliance said in a press release. "But we hope this guide makes things a little easier, and encourage you to check out some amazing products that also support jobs and local communities."

Its annual gift guide contains all-new product suggestions that weren't featured in previous years at a number of price points, ranging from big-ticket items to stocking stuffers. It recommended products made in all 50 states.

In Indiana, the Alliance for American Manufacturing recommended the paper Aardvark Straws and the Hoosier Bat Co., which has sold its wooden bats to everyone from Little Leaguers to Major League Baseball players, including Hall of Famers.

"From Valparaiso – Indiana’s vale of paradise – comes the second-oldest wood bat-maker in the country," the Alliance for American Manufacturing said in the gift guide. "The Hoosier Bat Company can customize your stick however you’d like. The company is also licensed by Major League Baseball; that’s why, over the years, you may have seen Frank Thomas or Sammy Sosa swinging a Hoosier bat."

The group also endorsed butcher blocks and cutting boards from John Boos & Co. in downstate Illinois and American Plastic Toys, which are made in Michigan and sold at a number of national retailers like Walmart and Walgreen's.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.