Big Ms: Locals form hometown sportswear company

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 16, 2017


NATCHEZ — Three locals have drawn upon the theme of the king of rivers in forming a new sportswear company, Mighty Mississippi Sports.

Shaun McDonald, Hunter Ogden and Luke Spillers have founded Mighty Mississippi Sports with items being sold up front at Double Play Academy in Vidalia, as they work on finalizing the Internet retail website.

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“Our shirts, hats and gloves are all starting to perform pretty well,” Ogden said. “We love baseball and love being around the sport. We love helping kids and this is another avenue for that.”

McDonald and Ogden are the owners of Double Play Academy, and though Spillers knew the two growing up, he was introduced to them again when he brought his children for baseball lessons.

Spillers said he originally got the idea when working on his children’s pitching machine.

“A pitching machine at its core is really simple. Anyone with the knowledge of how it works and had the parts could put one together,” Spillers said. “Then I thought outside the box and thought that could be applied to apparel and gloves.”

Since getting the idea in April and mentioning it to McDonald and Ogden, Spillers said the company has been growing fast. Ogden said the merchandise has been moving fast.

“Baseball is big in the South, and that is especially true here,” Ogden said. “We have teams that play almost all year long.”

The Mighty Mississippi Sports brand also has four professional baseball players signed on to promote the brand — Delvin Zinn, an infielder in the Chicago Cubs minor-league system, Tyreque Reed, a first baseman in the Texas Rangers system, Riley Widell, a left handed pitcher in the Minnesota Twins system, and Braxton Lee, a centerfielder in the Miami Marlins system.

McDonald said Ogden coached at a baseball facility in Florida, which produced some of the minor league players, and the others were through personal contacts.

“Our deal with them is for them to post on social media to help us grow with them,” McDonald said. “We promote going from youth baseball to the big leagues.”

Spillers said it is just as cool to see local youth sporting the Mighty Mississippi Sports brand at local and state baseball games.

“When kids are off playing tournament ball, we want them to be seen with our T-shirts, batting gloves and hats on,” Spillers said.

Ogden said he agreed.

“It is like a family,” Ogden said. “When you see someone wearing the Mighty Mississippi crown, you feel like they are family.”

The hope is to eventually push the business into retail stores around the country, McDonald said.

“We just want to continue to grow,” McDonald said. “Hopefully we are one day able to offer the stuff we are doing from coast to coast. We are already shipping to New York, California and Tennessee for a few examples.”

Spillers said the website would go live in the next two weeks. In the mean time, Double Play Academy is open from noon to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mighty Mississippi Sports also has a Facebook page. For more information, call 318-414-3124.

“With how big baseball is here, we figured it would be cool to have a hometown baseball company,” Spillers said. “We have a lot of stellar athletes from the area.”