August 15, 2012
And, as a bonus, it’s unwashed. So, if you’re willing, click here.
Authentic Store Buzz: Two of the manufacturers that the folks at Pro League Authentics have been involved with in their extensive sports apparel experience are American Needle and Wright & Ditson.
That’s continued at PLA since last fall with the throwback Cooperstown Collection hats, and many different W & D Tees.
What follows below is information about each company, provided by each company, respectively, to shed more insight on their history and current business protocol.
First, American Needle.
Founded in 1918 as an importer of sewing needles, American Needle has evolved over three generations into a world leader in headwear manufacturing.
Upon its inception as a family-owned business, the company quickly progressed into manufacturing headwear and military styles of all types. The factory, located on the North Side of Chicago, hired skilled tailors, pattern makers, sewing machine operators and seamstresses. Their passion was for making new hat styles for new markets.
In 1946, the company approached the Chicago Cubs with the idea of selling fans baseball caps like the ones the players wore on the field.
The Cubs agreed to the proposal, with the team’s ownership noting, “Who would want ot buy the hats the players are wearing?”
The first run of Cubs hats sold out in one day and a second lot sold even faster. Based on theses successes, the company would soon begin supplying caps to all Major League teams nationwide and years later, the NFL.
Today, American needle is a third generation family business that continues to lead the industry with the design and manufacture of products that are admired by headwear connoisseurs around the world. American Needle holds licenses for major sports leagues and entertainment properties, as well as over 30 patents on design and manufacturing innovations.
Throughout the company’s nearly 100 year history, American Needle attributes its success to the company’s allegiance to its core principles of craftsmanship, leadership, individuality and heritage, and continually inventing dynamic new headwear concepts and expressions.
Now, Wright & Ditson.
The history of Wright & Ditson is woven into the early fabric of American sports, from the first Official Ball of the U.S. Davis Cup, to the publication of Wright & Ditson’s Guide to American Golf (as approved by the Royal Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in 1899).
Founded in 1871 by Baseball Hall of Famer George Wright and Boston businessman Henry Ditson, the company began as a purveyor of tennis, golf and baseball equipment. The company was known for its precision craftsmanship – from tennis rackets to golf clubs – and by the turn of the century, baseball equipment.
By the early 1900s, Wright & Ditson stood alone as the singular purveyor of sports equipment and apparel in the U.S.; and brand of choice, for court of course, to the hobbyist and professional alike.
Today, we proudly carry our rich tradition of skill and quality as we employ modern techniques and styling to revive the fashions of a bygone era in American sports.
Authentically Speaking Trivia Time: What color facemask did the Seattle Seahawks wear in their inaugural 1976 season? Answer on Thursday.
Tuesday’s answer: The Flyers put player’s names on their home uniforms for the first time in 1972. The road jerseys first saw names in 1974 for national TV games on NBC, and regularly in the 1977-78 season.