Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

Enterprise: SportsBall

Address: Naperville

Web site:

Owner: Melvin Kim, 44, of Naperville

Years in enterprise: One particular

What does your enterprise do? They offer subscriptions to adhere to teams about the nation, which come with gear like baseball caps and decals connected with the teams.

“We offer fans of sports the potential to meet new teams and cheer for new loves. I especially target minor league baseball teams,” Kim mentioned.

“There are some great names that teams have adopted or changed to. When I was a kid, every single group for the Chicago Cubs was the Cubs. Peoria Cubs. Iowa City Cubs. Someplace in the ‘90s, minor league teams wanted their personal identity. So, they began operating with marketing and advertising firms and their in-property employees, coming up with some wonderful names. A lot of the teams now have names that reflect the region they are from.”

Can you give an instance? “My favored appropriate now, the Rocket City Trash Pandas, are close to Huntsville, Alabama. Their 1st season, 2020, was canceled by Covid-19.”

Why did you begin this enterprise? “I saw a Twitter feed that mentioned, ‘Welcome to the new Double AA group of the Los Angeles Angels, the Rocket City Trash Pandas. I believed, ‘What an out-there name to contact a baseball group.’ I began this on a whim. I believed it’d be wonderful to see what takes place.”

Trash Pandas? “Everyone calls racoons trash pandas there.”

Any other favorites? “The Binghamton Rumble Ponies, out of New York, affiliated with the Mets. There are the Toledo Mud Hens produced well-known by “M*A*S*H*.” The Biscuits out of Montgomery, Alabama, named just after the bread. The Isotopes out of Albuquerque are named just after (the group) on ‘The Simpsons.’”

How does it perform? “They can go to the web site. I have two goods, a quarterly box that is $35 every single 3 months. You get 4 products. A hat, a decal sticker, a souvenir item and an information card I place collectively than appears like a baseball card that provides the history and information on each and every group. … The annual is $126 for 4 boxes via the year. … I’m up to more than 20 members who obtain boxes. They go to California, Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, North Carolina, all more than the location.”

Do people today decide on teams? “They can not choose. It is me saying, ‘Hey, right here are some teams that I believe you may well want to get to know.’”

What’s the feedback? “A lot of ‘this is great.’ A lot of ‘I didn’t know this group existed.’”

How lots of teams are there? “There are 120 official minor league baseball teams sanctioned by Main League Baseball.”

Is this your primary job? “I have a further job that I perform complete time. I’m in nonprofit perform. I’m the CEO of a household foundation. We donate revenue to meals causes across the Midwest. My board tends to be low crucial.”

Ever go to teams? “I was just in Portland for my other job. They have an independent summer season college group known as the Portland Pickles.”

Why are you fascinated with this? “Baseball is such an American tradition. I know we have our allegiances when it comes to main league baseball. I am a South Sider, so I cheer the White Sox. … If I’m a Sox fan and I get a box (of products) from the Cleveland Guardians, what am I going to do with that? Minor leagues are diverse.

“There’s an organization known as Extra Than Baseball that aids minor leaguers not only though they’re playing but afterwards, when their baseball profession is more than, assisting them discover jobs, assisting them with education, with what ever requirements they have. Proceeds from every single box I sell, I set aside some funds and I donate to Extra Than Baseball.”

Minor league baseball is the focus of SportsBall, the Naperville company Melvin Kim started in 2022.

What do you like most effective? “I like sharing my passion for minor league baseball. The much more people today I can speak to and not sound like a dork, the happier I develop into.”

Any negatives? “The greatest factor is mastering how to run a enterprise. It is my 1st time.”

When are you busy? “The holidays. I’m ramping up for Father’s Day.”

Any favored stories? “We had been just in New York City for spring break. My wife wore a Biscuits hat to a Yankees game. A bunch of people today asked, ‘Is that the Biscuits?’ Then they’d speak about their favored minor league teams. It is a cool icebreaker. … One particular of the guys who 1st signed up did it for his wife, but wound up maintaining them for himself.”

What misconceptions do people today have? “That you have to be baseball fans to like it.”

Any future plans? “Japanese leagues, Korean leagues, Central American leagues. To have group stuff from there.”

What’s your assistance for a person beginning a enterprise? “Don’t be concerned about the errors you are going to make. Be excited about the adventure.”

If you know of a enterprise you’d like to see to profiled in Down to Enterprise, make contact with Steve Metsch at

Steve Metsch is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.

By Editor

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