A CUSTOM BALANCED, DYNAMICALLY TUNED BATON
Due to Covid-19, the massive increase in steel prices, significant increases in steel surcharges, shipping costs, manufacturing costs, as well as the cost of heat treating, plating, and finishing of steel components, it has become impossible to manufacture the Gray Baton.
In 1976, I started producing the Gray Baton and selling it for a price of $50. During the 45 years since, the price has not changed. The goal was to produce the best Strutting Baton and support The Ohio State University Marching Band, its Drum Majors, and "D" Row Members.
For the past 45 years I have sold the Gray Baton for $50 even though my costs have continually increased above that figure. In the future when the Gray Baton is back on the market, the selling price will need to significantly increase.
Thank you all for your loyal support of the Gray Baton. I am eager to continue the tradition soon.
- John C. Gray -
John C. Gray, President of Gray America Corp. and an OSU Marching Band Member from 1959-63, took on the challenge of designing an all-metal baton in 1975. At this time, the last manufacturer of the all metal baton had ceased production, and it was John’s goal to maintain the tradition. After 30 years of making the all metal baton with a hollow aluminum ball, John recognized the twirling ability of the drum majors had reached a new level. Consequently, he tackled the effort of improving the Gray Baton, and developed it with a composite material ball instead. The weight of this ball could be controlled perfectly, and the shaft could be secured better and extend further into a solid ball than a hollow ball.
The same 5/8” stainless, chrome plated shaft and balance plug is still used, and the price of $50.00 that was established in 1976 continues today. The critical dynamic of the baton is the distance between the measured center point and the balance point. The dynamic is set at 3/4” but can be custom made for each drum major. This aspect is the greatest improvement in baton design, and allows the advanced drum major to have better control of the baton.