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Batting 1,000: Jacob Dunnack is a kid who is really on the ball!

Jacob is the pint-size creator of JD Batball, a toy he invented two years ago, when he was only six years old!

Jacob's invention came to him during a sleepover at his grandmother's house. As he set out to practice his favorite sport--baseball--Jacob realized he had a bat, but no ball. "My grandmother made baseballs out of paper for me to hit," explains Jacob, who lives in Connecticut. "But when I hit them they didn't go far."

Jacob found a solution. "It's a baseball bat that I can put balls inside and carry them like luggage, so I don't forget them any more," he said.

As soon as he got home, Jacob cut off the top of an old baseball bat, dropped his baseballs inside, and then sealed the top with plastic foam.

An engineer friend helped make a small model of the baseball bat, with Ping-Pong balls inside. When Jacob's family met with toy store buyers, they were surprised to be given an order even though their toy hadn't been manufactured yet!

When it was time for his invention to go into production, Jacob gave the manufacturer a few instructions. The JD Batball would be blue--his favorite color--and would hold three yellow balls, to represent the three children in his family. Jacob also made one final request: a pink bat with white balls, as a special Christmas gift for his little sister, Jaelyn.

But what is most remarkable about Jacob is his fearlessness and determination. Born with a heart disease, Jacob had three surgeries before he was one. Following his last surgery, Jacob suffered a stroke, which left him partially blind and with limited use of his right side. But these do not keep him from roller blading, riding his bike, or playing hockey and baseball.

Jacob frequently gives talks in local schools and colleges to promote the importance of healthy eating and exercise. "People need to stay healthy, eat healthy snacks and keep their hearts and brains healthy so they can stay alive longer," he says.

He also visits at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center, where he donates JD Batballs to hospitalized children. "When they get better the children will like to play baseball. My toy makes kids happy, and that makes me happy and proud," he said.
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Title Annotation:creator of JD Batball
Author:Renaud, Anne
Publication:U.S. Kids
Geographic Code:1U1CT
Date:May 1, 2003
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