Charlie Dittrick's irritation with his dad and his pool-playing buddies prompted Parker-based Tag Team Manufacturing to launch a side business that has changed one of the most fundamental aspects of the game of pool. The source of irritation was pool cues left leaning against the wall of Charlie's rec room, only to be knocked over, putting numerous chalk marks all over the walls. Charlie made several calls to local billiard retail stores only to find at the time, there was nothing available to keep cues in place, leaning against the wall. This was in February of 2007.
Tag Team Manufacturing produces components for aerospace, medical devices, and computer storage oem's and 85% of the products produced are machined out of 6061 extruded aluminum. Knowing the properties of this material well, Charlie, VP of Manufacturing, set out to design a product, later to be called the cue lean, which would hold cue sticks secure when leaned against a wall or table. Once the president, Terry Taggart, saw this new invention, he quickly challenged Charlie and his team to design an aluminum billiard rack which initially was met with several raised eye brows.
The first design, with the help of the lead machinist Angel Preciado, ended up being a solid rack weighing in at 3 pounds. It looked like the perfect product for painting orange and leaving behind your broken down car to warn oncoming traffic. As a recreational player himself, Terry knew a lot of weight needed to be removed from the rack and suggested holes be cut out of each corner. He then played with several drawings which added “cut out” ribs on the rails. Implementing these changes, the “Falcon” was born, having taken close to a pound of aluminum off the original design.
This model was then UPS shipped to 25 entities, including the US Pool Players Association (UPA), the Women Professional Billiard Association (WPBA), and several restaurant chains including Dave & Busters and Trick Shot Billiards. Two weeks passed and no calls came in about our rack. So, Terry began to make follow up calls and found both the UPA and the WPBA presidents to be very receptive. Both of the professional entities felt the rack needed to be a lighter (at this point it weighed just under 2 pounds). The team at Tag Team Manufacturing went back to work, making preliminary design changes and testing the impact. The overall height was reduced by 1/4” and the side rail pockets were cut out, thereby doing away with the ribbing. Additionally, the corners were rounded.
After all the design changes were made, the rack weighed in at 16 ounces. With the support of the UPA and then president Frank Alvarez, the company went through a few more rounds brain-storming for the best possible name. After soliciting employees, friends, and other pool players, the list was very long. One evening, Terry was looking through his personal mail when he uncovered a magazine from his college fraternity, Phi Delta Theta. At that moment the idea of using Delta in the name became very apparent as that is the Greek word for triangle. There are many associations and things with the Delta name so it had to be called more than just Delta. Since the rack was unique in that it was made from 6061 aluminum, the idea struck Terry as to what the number for aluminum was on the Periodic Table of Elements. A quick search on the internet found the number 13 was associated with aluminum and quickly the name of DELTA-13 was born. Everyone loved the name and how that name had evolved.
It was not until March of 2008 that the Delta-13 rack “got legs” with the introduction of the product at “Allen Hopkins Super Billiards Expo” in Philadelphia that year. Thanks to the invitation to join the UPA in their booth that year, 7 Delta-13 racks were sold.