Stadium is the first in Minor League Baseball to offer items from the popular baseball-lifestyle apparel brand
Southern Nevada has long had a deep and abiding love of baseball. It’s why the Triple-A franchise that has been known as the Stars, 51s and Aviators has endured for 38 seasons — far longer than any other professional sports team in the history of the Las Vegas Valley.
It’s also the primary reason why Las Vegas Ballpark was conceived: to provide the community’s passionate and dedicated baseball fans with a first-class facility in which to enjoy our nation’s pastime. Now, that first-class facility is offering fans yet another treat: a Baseballism pop-up store where guests can shop for items from the sport’s premium lifestyle apparel brand.
Located just beyond the swimming pool in center field, the Baseballism kiosk officially opens Thursday, June 20, 2019, when the Aviators return home to start a five-game homestand against the Sacramento River Cats. Fans can peruse the kiosk and order men’s and women’s apparel featuring Baseballism’s popular logos and catchphrases, as well as various styles of sunglasses that include the popular “Respect the Game” flag man logo in the upper-right corner.
The pop-up store, which will be open during all Las Vegas Ballpark events, marks the first time Baseballism has joined forces with a Minor League Baseball venue.
“We are honored to be the first Baseballism micro-store in Minor League Baseball,” says Jason Weber, director of retail operations for the Aviators. “Their brand focuses on the class, tradition and history of our nation’s pastime.”
The Baseballism success story is akin to that of an undrafted, low-level prospect who defies expectations to not only reach the major leagues but become an All-Star. The company actually began as a youth baseball camp formed by four buddies — Travis Chock, Jonathan Loomis, Jonathan Jwayad and Kalin Boodman — who were teammates on the University of Oregon’s club baseball team. The quartet operated the camp for two summers in 2006 and 2007, teaching the fundamentals of the game to kids ages 8-12.
Each camper who attended the weekly sessions was given a T-shirt that featured what is now Baseballism’s classic drop-bat design, which the four friends created. After the camp dissolved in 2008, Chock, Loomis, Jwayad and Boodman went their separate ways into careers that ranged from teacher and high school baseball coach (Chock) to JAG lawyer and U.S. Army captain (Boodman).
While they no longer worked together, the group remained bonded by one thing: Their Baseballism camp T-shirts. Whenever they wore the shirts around their respective towns, co-workers, friends and even passersby would stop them and say, “That’s a really cool shirt — where’d you get that?” It happened so frequently that Chock reached out to the other three in 2012 and convinced them to re-launch Baseballism, this time as a lifestyle apparel brand.
Chock’s initial order of 48 shirts sold out in a week, which led the group to launch a Kickstarter campaign in spring 2012 that raised $14,000 in seed money. The rest, as the cliché goes, is history: In 2013, Baseballism launched its website (Baseballism.com) and began selling product out of Chock’s garage in Beaverton, Oregon, and by 2014, the first brick-and-mortar store opened in Cooperstown, New York, just two blocks from the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Today, Baseballism’s clothing, glove-leather goods, caps, accessories and even books and signage can be found on their website and in eight retail locations — including one behind the Green Monster at iconic Fenway Park in Boston and one across the street from historic Wrigley Field in Chicago. A ninth store is set to open this fall in Irvine, California, and Baseballism also maintains a presence during spring training in Arizona, with pop-up stores at the facilities of the Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland A’s (who are the Aviators’ parent club).
Perhaps the best part of the Baseballism story? Some six years after regrouping and turning a baseball-camp slogan into a baseball-lifestyle apparel company, those four ex-college baseball teammates remain joined at the hip as chief executives: Chock serves as Baseballism’s CEO, Loomis as CFO, Jwayad as COO and Boodman as CLO (Chief Learning Officer).
Together, those executives recently looked around the baseball landscape and realized there was one market they needed to penetrate: Minor League Baseball. From there, it didn’t take long to conclude that their first MiLB partner should be Las Vegas Ballpark, which leads all U.S-based minor league franchises in total attendance (331,998) and per-game average (9,485).
“Baseballism is excited to partner with the Las Vegas Aviators and make Las Vegas Ballpark home to Baseballism’s first MiLB location,” Chock says. “We know we have a loyal following in Las Vegas that loves the game as much we do. It’s our hope they come out to Aviators games to see us, as well as to watch some great baseball.”