Trade show baseball's other high-dollar business

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 4, 2012 at 7:38 pm •  Published: December 4, 2012
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"We're a way to kind of kick up your burger or hot dog," she said.

Game Wear helps baseball fans show their love of the sport using the ball itself for bracelets, key chains, necklaces and even pet leashes and collars. Frank Cerullo Jr. first carved up a baseball while playing in college at George Washington, and the white leather necklace with the red seam stitching proved so popular he went from working in computer technology for a hospital to starting his company in his parents' basement to office space in Hoboken, N.J.

"What makes our product special is the fusion of taking your team, taking the sport and fusing it together, and I feel that's the magic in our product," Cerullo said.

Former big league first baseman Pete LaCock also was on hand, representing Zinger bats before he starts managing next year in the independent America West Baseball League.

"These are fun to come to. You see a lot of old friends," he said, moments after greeting Cubs bench coach Jamie Quirk, a former Kansas City Royals teammate.

There's so much to see, it can be exhausting.

Luckily, Rawlings Sporting Goods has a big leather chair shaped like a catcher's mitt sitting at the edge of the company's display, which draws people in. Rawlings sells approximately 10 of the chairs each year for $3,200 apiece using the same leather in their gloves as part of a product line that now features luggage and wallets. Names can be monogrammed into the thumb or palm of the chair, too.

Charlette Eastman of American Fork, Utah, whose family recently sold the Zinger Bat Company, sat in the catcher's mitt chair for a much-needed rest after helping promote the company.

"It's wonderful," Eastman said. "I'm just going to see how much I can buy it for."

___

AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker contributed to this report.



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