Find a need and fill it—Lee and Jason Jaramillo followed that oft-cited prescription for entrepreneurial success. Both of the professional baseball catchers—Pittsburgh Pirates fans probably remember Jason’s three years with that team—know all too well the pounding their hands take despite wearing a mitt behind the plate. So they devised the $29.99 Forceout glove for players to wear inside their mitts.
The secret is in the supple leather glove’s “mitt-poppin’-sting-stoppin’ protective gel,” the Jaramillos say in one of their many humorous marketing spiels. The protective zones stay in place while still allowing a catcher to have a good feel for the ball. “We wanted the least amount of material possible,” Lee Jaramillo says. A row of mini-shock absorbers protects the index finger, which is most vulnerable to injury.
Although he says Forceout’s target market is mainly youth baseball and softball, professional players are taking notice, too. Jason Castro, the Houston Astros’ All-Star catcher, wears the glove and is such a fan that he endorsed it on Forceout.com.
The brothers mainly have used social media and word-of-mouth to market Forceout gloves (and wristbands). They’ve personally pitched to Little League organizations and retailers, Lee says, and the efforts are paying off. “We feel very confident we’ll be in stores next season.”