Oregon may not have a baseball team (yet), but it has a successful baseball company
written by Beau Eastes | photography by Brian Holstein
Baseballism has retail shops in baseball hot spots around the country—Cooperstown, New York; Scottsdale, Arizona; Boston; and San Francisco to highlight a few—but its flagship store is in a beautifully renovated warehouse on Northwest 22nd and Quimby in Portland, just seven blocks from the Portland Beavers’ original stadium, Vaughn Street Park.
What started out as a youth baseball camp put on by four former University of Oregon club baseball players is now a $10 million a year lifestyle brand built around America’s pastime. That means you can purchase everything from T-shirts adorned with baseball terms like “Southpaw” and “Live Life Like a 3-1 Count” to $85 leather toiletry bags.
The company doesn’t have a licensing agreement with Major League Baseball, instead creating products from sayings and slogans familiar to passionate baseball fans. Baseballism does have two official licensing deals, one with the Babe Ruth family to use the iconic image of Ruth’s swing as part of its official logo, and another with the cult classic movie “Major League.”
The four former teammates, whose business cards feature pictures from their youth baseball days, have successfully marketed to old-school baseball fans who curse the designated hitter and Astroturf, as well as to a younger generation who grew up with Ken Griffey Jr. bouncing around the Kingdome with his hat on backward. Baseballism sells T-shirts and hoodies with baseball sayings that go back decades, but also produces caps with reclaimed carpet from PDX and handbags made from vintage glove leather.
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