Tag: Home Run Sports

Adam Hall pays it forward with help from GLC and Home Run Sports

Fortunate to be the recipient of some assistance – and plenty of free equipment – through his journey in baseball so far, Adam Hall wanted to offer the same to some of the young players in his community.

The Great Lake Canadians shortstop, and top position-playing prospect north of the border heading into the upcoming draft, took some time between trips with the Canadian Junior National Team this spring – after matching up against professional competition in St. Petersburg in March and before playing at extended spring training in April – to give back, in conjunction with the Canadians program and Home Run Sports in London.

Each year, Great Lake players utilize fundraising efforts to help lower program fees. Top fundraisers earn prizes, including equipment from Home Run Sports. Named a winner, the Canadian Premier Baseball League player offered his equipment back to candidates found by the local store, and together they made got the seasons of about a dozen young players started off on the right foot.

“I get a lot of stuff through baseball, so I have more than enough equipment already,” the 17-year-old infielder said. “So I was talking to my parents [Helen and Tyler] about it and we just thought we should do something to give back, and then Home Run Sports gave us an opportunity to do that and we were able to set something up with them.”

Hall’s father got the ball rolling with the baseball and softball store, whose staff was more than happy to participate and assist in the process.

“It really happened through Home Run Sports,” Hall said. “My dad talked to them to try and see if we could do anything with that, and the event came out of it. We planned it all probably about a month before the event happened.”

Added Tyler Hall: “The Junior National Team equips its players very well, and Adam received a lot of gear at different showcase events last summer. So it was nice for him to be able to donate the value of his fundraising incentive prizes. We’ve been fortunate to have assistance on many fronts over the last five or six years, so giving back is a natural thing to want to do.”

On a Saturday at the beginning of April, Hall and Home Run Sports combined to outfit 12 young players between the ages of seven and 11 years old, who left fully equipped and eager for the upcoming season.

“Home Run Sports chose the recipients,” the Bermuda-born native of London said. “They called the local programs and asked around to figure out which families would be suitable for what we were doing.

“There were a couple of groups of kids that came in. I had a meet-and-greet with them, talked to them about their baseball teams, my baseball, and what I’ve been able to do with baseball. Then I kind of took the kids around, found a glove for each of them that they liked, and I helped them with that a little bit, finding a glove that was right for them.

“Then they picked out some batting gloves, and they got to choose the colours they wanted for those, and then they also got cleats from Home Run Sports. I didn’t do that, Home Run Sports hooked them up with cleats, and then they got a package from Home Run as well, with a t-shirt, water bottle and hat.”

Watching from the sidelines, Tyler Hall was especially proud of his teenage son’s efforts and the impact he made not only in the moment but beyond the event.

“We are of course proud to see Adam thinking of others, and acting as a positive role model,” the elder Hall said. “The Great Lake Canadians and Home Run Sports were really enthusiastic about the idea, and jumped right in to make it a great event. We were also touched to learn that GLC 14U player Dylan O’Rae donated the value of his custom Rawlings glove that he earned through his fundraising efforts.”

All in all, the day couldn’t have been better for all those involved.

“It was definitely fun, especially seeing the reactions of the kids,” Hall said. “They were pretty excited about all the equipment, the hats and the cleats, and that helped a lot. Two of them even wore their cleats home from the store. It felt good to be able to help. They were excited and they were happy, and seeing that was pretty cool.”

CPBL sponsor Rawlings launches Canadian concept store

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – It’s the glove of the game.

Rawlings is more often than not one of the most well-represented brands on the field – known best for its gloves, but also supplying players with options for every baseball need – and now the company can say the same off the field, at least at one store in Mississauga.

On Saturday, Home Run Sports held its Grand Opening celebration for the launch of Rawlings’ first concept store in Canada, and the most elaborate of its kind anywhere. After taking over the space next to its original location, Home Run partnered with Rawlings to designate a large amount of square footage to the brand.

“Rawlings is such an expansive program and broad product mix, we wanted to take this chance to showcase everything,” said Randy Beatty, General Manager of Rawlings Canada. “It’s very difficult for even a store of this size to show everything we sell, so we teamed up with Home Run on the ability to work with them on this concept and make sure the full line was represented in its entirety.

“New products will come here first, and if there’s something different we want to showcase or promote, it gives us a chance to do that here.”

The launch also provided a unique opportunity to the store and the brand to host Cy Young Award winner, Gold Glover, Rawlings advocate, and Toronto Blue Jays hurler R.A. Dickey, who made his way to the store just after his team’s 9-3 win over the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon.

“My loyalty probably speaks louder than anything,” Dickey said. “I’ve been with Rawlings since I’ve been 12 years old. It was my glove in college, and then when I got to pro ball I loved the product so much that I stayed with it throughout. Then I was fortunate enough to win a Gold Glove in ’13 and I got my gold label and that was it.”

Added Scott Neiles, CEO of Home Run Sports: “It was a perfect fit with him being a Gold Glove winner. As he mentioned, he’s been a Rawlings guy since he was 12 years old, and it’s always more special knowing that you have a guy who believes in the brand.

“And this opportunity, for him to come out after a game on a Saturday, knowing they have an early day Sunday, it speaks volumes for him and the relationship that he has with Rawlings and the people of Toronto.”

With the excitement of the store’s addition, and the opening of the first concept store of its kind, Beatty believes that having one of the reigning American League East division champions join the Home Run Sports and Rawlings teams at the event was an added bonus.

“This is the icing on the cake,” he said. “When we started this, we worked with our Home Run Sports partners and we wanted to create something that was a little different. Things are displayed in a much different format, and to have somebody show up who is a Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner and a true professional in the game is just the icing on the cake for this event.”

While there are five stores across the States dedicated to Rawlings-only products, they are outlet locations with different offerings than will be found in Mississauga. Known first and foremost for their leather, Rawlings is looking forward to the opportunity to showcase everything they have available.

“The general consumer might think that Rawlings is just gloves, but the player has a much better understanding because every helmet’s a Rawlings helmet, every ball is a Rawlings ball, half the players in the major leagues use Rawlings gloves, but there are more than just the gloves,” Beatty said. “That’s what comes to mind when you think Rawlings, but this makes it easier to see.”

Should the concept store continue to find sustained success at its current location, the brand could expand at the other Home Run Sports locations across the country north of the border.

“We’re going to have absolutely everything they carry in the line, so we’re going to keep expanding as more stuff comes in,” Neiles said. “Rawlings has quite a big name worldwide, and not just for ball equipment.

“Obviously people associate that with us but hopefully we can get into some of other items they offer and keep growing it. The intention would be if this goes as well as we think it will then maybe we can try and implement it in some of our other stores across Canada.”

The concept store had a soft opening in February, with inventory in and an opportunity for people to peruse and shop before the Grand Opening. Since then, additions and changes have been made, but the response so far has been all positive.

“It’s been very good,” Neiles said. “You can’t not notice it, because it jumps out at you. It’s new, and in a sporting goods world we’re so used to things looking the same. This adds a little more pop. It’s going to put pressure on us to update the other side of the store now, so it’s a constant battle of keeping things looking fresh all the time, but it just looks awesome.

“You take it for granted when you see it too often but when you see the lineup of people outside for R.A. Dickey and you step back and look at it, it’s pretty special.”