COOPERSTOWN – The secret to the baseball glove of the future, Scott Carpenter discovered, is in looking at the gloves of the past.
“I was at an artist’s residency at Blue Mountain Lake and someone invited me to meet with Ted Spencer at the Baseball Hall of Fame,” he said. “I realized that Cooperstown was a great location, not just for my business, but to study gloves. The best way to project forward is to look at how they’ve evolved.”
Now Carpenter, who has been making custom-fit baseball gloves since 2003, has been acquired by Marucci Sports, based in Baton Rouge, La., one of the leading manufacturers of baseball bats for Major League players who now want to expand into gloves.
As a fashion artist in New York City, Carpenter had made several gloves and exhibited them in shows alongside Keith Haring, who will be featured at The Fenimore Art Museum next summer, and other pop artists. “Gloves are a unique object,” Carpenter said, in an interview at his Cherry Valley workshop that will soon be moved to Cooperstown.
“They’re sentimental and complex,” he said. “I wasn’t making them to be ironic or weird, I was interested in everyday objects and the weight they carried.”
The more gloves he made, the better he got, and soon, he was making custom gloves for minor league players, including Noah Krol, then with the Oneonta Tigers, in 2007.
“A regular glove only has a knot at the thumb to adjust and that’s as much of a custom fit as you get,” he said. “But mine are custom fit to each person’s hand for a tailored, ergonomic fit.”
In the early days, he would ask customers to trace their hands, but now 3D imaging and printing has made it easier to get an even more custom fit.
“When you have a better fit, you reduce slack,” he explained. “Players tell me the glove feels locked in, so the exchange from the catching hand to the throwing hand is easier.”
In 2011, he made the first non-leather microfiber glove to be used in the MLB by Brian Gordon, the Yankee pitcher.
“I make the lightest gloves in baseball,” Carpenter said. “The average, all-leather glove might be 24 ounces, and mine are usually 5 to 8 ounces lighter.”
The gloves begin at $535 when he was selling them through his website; they will now be retailed at places like Dick’s Sporting Goods.
In 2001, he had relocated his shop, Carpenter Trade, to Cherry Valley, in a home where previous occupants used to make baseballs.
“I found an empty spool of baseball thread being used as a doorstop,” he said. “And I found a needle of the right size for that thread.”
He makes as many as 50 gloves a year, all by hand, on Singer sewing machines. “A glove takes about 19 hours to make,” he said. “And I know the connection between Singer and Cooperstown, so I thought it would be cool to use those machines.”
His first Marucci glove was made for Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson, the former American League MVP.
“Other brands were interested in my performance-enhancing technology,” he said. “But Marucci was a fast-growing brand, and their bat is the most used bat in Major League baseball. They think they could have a similar impact on gloves, so that was motivation to acquire my business.”
Now under Marucci, he plans to relocate to the Key Bank building on Cooperstown’s Main Street, and hire additional employees to help keep up with the demand. “Marucci will mass produce the components, and I’ll finish them here,” he said.
And he plans to continue working with the Hall, as well as research among baseball fans and Dreams Park players. “There’s so much intellectual capital here,” he said. “People around here have that knowledge.”
In addition to professional-grade gloves, he also custom makes gloves for people with hand deformities and disabilities.
He had grown up playing baseball, and still plays in the Leatherstocking League locally. “My sons are one and 4,” he said. “I’m so specialized in adult gloves that making one for them is going to be a whole different product.”
SUMMER CELEBRATION – 3 – 7 p.m. Celebrate summer by the waterfront with OPA. Bring a dish to share, enjoy BBQ. Come prepared for swimming, outdoor games, other park activities, relax with friends. Gilbert Lake State Park, Mount Vision. 607-386-1508 or visit www.facebook.com/otsegopride/
Dan Heinrich and his son Will spent their Father’s Day volunteering by making sure the stage was kept clean and cleared for the competitors 3rd annual Cherry Valley Outdoor Games lumberjack competition this afternoon at Alden Field in Cherry Valley. While most of the event finished early, national competitors like Mike Sullivan, right, still gave onlookers a reason to cheer as they sawed their way to the finish of the final heat, which was televised nation wide. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
CHERRY VALLEY – William Gordon “Bill” Isaac, a Renaissance man and a beloved member of the greater Cherry Valley community, best known recently for operating the Cherry Branch Gallery, died on May 5, 2019, at his home here with his beloved partner, Willow Partington, by his side along with her children and son-in-law.
Born on May 3, 1938, in Aurora, Ill., Bill was the son of Helen and Gordon Isaac, of Downers Grove. Bill’s mother was Chippewa (Ojibway).
Bill attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, receiving the S.C. Johnson Award in Chemistry. He left in May 1958 without a degree, and worked as a chemist in Allied Chemical’s uranium refining plant in Metropolis, Ill., where he worked with radioactive materials. In 1960, Bill moved to New Orleans where he worked as a picture framer and began oil painting, selling his works in Pirates’ Alley and local galleries. He was drafted into the Army in 1961, and worked at Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md.. In 1963, he received an honorable discharge.
EARTH FEST – 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Annual Earth Festival features a clothing swap, an art contest, free paper shredding, workshops and more. Milford Central School, 42 West Main St., Milford. Info, (607) 547-4488. occainfo.org/earth-festival/
CHERRY VALLEY – Marshal W. “Mickey” Wilsey, 53, passed away Jan. 9, 2019, from complications with his illness.
Born Dec. 16, 1966, in Stamford, was truly a jack of all trades when it came to working. From carpentry to roofing to lining nuclear stacks with fiberglass he did it all. He cherished having a cold one and his family.
CHERRY VALLEY – Stephen Wyatt Tompkins, 44, who had been fighting Cystic Fibrosis since infancy, died Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, at New York Presbyterian Hospital with loving family by his side.
Born in Cooperstown, Oct. 28, 1974, Stephen’s Cystic Fibrosis led to other challenges. He was a 10+ year survivor of a double lung transplant received at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He passed away after a hard fought battle with cancer.
Stephen graduated from Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School in 1995. He attended the RIT National Technical Institute for the Deaf. He was most recently employed by the Town of Middlefield Highway Department.
MEMORIAL FUNDRAISER – 6 – 8 p.m. Celebrate wonderful life of Dr. Gahleb with wife Jill, Susquehanna Animal Shelter. Cost, $100/person includes 2 drinks, heavy hors d’oeuvres, silent auction. RSVP by 9/20. Veranda, The Otesaga, Cooperstown. 607-547-8111 ext. 101 or visit www.facebook.com/Susquehanna-Animal-Shelter-121696841223218/
BENEFIT 5K/MILE – 9 a.m. Run/walk in Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K to benefit the Riverside Back Pack Program, providing Oneonta school children food over the weekend. Registration from 8-8:45 a.m. Cost day-of, $25 for 5K, $15 for Mile. Alumni Field House, SUNY Oneonta. 607-436-3337 or visit oneonta.sodexomyway.com/explore/mindful_mile
KITE FESTIVAL – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. All day outdoor kite fly for all. Includes Rev Riders Team Performances, Fighter Kite Battles, more. Admission, $5/adult. Campbell Road, Cherry Valley. 607-264-3080 or visit www.facebook.com/cherryvalleyartworks/
BLOCK PARTY – 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Benefit for Family Resource Network features free hot dogs, vendors, children’s activities, opportunity to dunk Pastor Paul, 3 tries/$1, Noon – 12:30 p.m. Bring friends, meet more. Atonement Lutheran Church parking lot, 1 Center St., Oneonta. 607-432-6852.
BOOK SIGNING – 5 – 7 p.m. Reading of “Riko: Seduction of an Artist” a biography of a Czech artist from the ‘30s thru the ‘80s. Written by Denise B. Dailey. Signing to follow. The Green Toad Book Store, 198 Main St., Oneonta. 607-433-8898 or visit www.facebook.com/TheGreenToadBookstore/
HERO RUN/WALK – 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Memorial run/walk for all the heroes who lost their lives on 9/11/01 and honoring the heroes who still answer the call. Fly Creek Volunteer Fire Company., 832 Co. Hwy. 26, Fly Creek. Visit hero5k.itsyourrace.com/event.aspx?id=6181
RODEO – 4 – 11 p.m. Support your hometown baseball team at Saturday Night Showdown. Pre-rodeo features games, food, music. Rodeo kicks off at 7, followed at 9 by party with music, cash bar, snacks. Tickets, $20/adult. Available at SFCU locations, ISD, The Shipping Room, or Online. Oneonta Outlaws, Damaschke Field, 15 James Georgeson Ave., Oneonta. 607-432-6326 or visit www.facebook.com/oneontaoutlawsbaseball/