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K&P's 19th century baseball uniform

Vintage Threads a Hit in Vegas
K&P Weaver Scores with Old-Time Uniforms & Equipment
November 28, 2006

Sports fans spend countless millions each year connecting with the past through memorabilia and collectible items. Those seeking the “total” experience often find it by wearing old-time uniforms, using old-time equipment, and even playing games the old-time way. This growing market provided the genesis for K&P Weaver, a company that makes and markets faithfully reproduced baseball uniforms, bats, ball, and gloves.

“We initially started because we found there were vintage baseball teams play games by the old rules,” says Paula Weaver, who began researching and producing copies of classic 19th century uniforms about a decade ago. “There are around 150 teams playing old-time ball, and we now outfit 70 to 80.”

Weaver was already producing uniforms for Civil War reenactors, so she and her husband, Ken, knew how demanding the marketplace was likely to be. They spent nearly two years researching old uniforms at the Hall of Fame and in private collections before going into full production.

Since then, K&P has added vintage bats, balls, gloves and a line of home decor items. At the Sports Licensing & Entertainment Marketplace in Las Vegas, the uniforms drew a lot of attention, but the balls and gloves were the big sellers. This has also been the case at MLB FanFest, where the company does big business at All-Star time each summer.

“Seeing as how we occupied an eye-catching niche at the show, mainstream retailers tended to stop and check us out,” says Weaver. “We were very busy, especially the first two days.

K&P's 19th century baseball uniform

K&P also makes replica uniforms of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Many of the league’s former players have purchased the reproductions as keepsakes—they had to turn in the originals back in 1954 in order to receive their final paychecks. The bloomer-style AAGBPL ensemble is an extremely popular item around Halloween time. Weaver says that female consumers are drawn to the company’s other items whether buying for themselves or for male fans. “They appreciate an attractive alternative to cards and autographs.”

K&P products are priced to provide solid markups for retailers, ranging from $10 wholesale for an 1880s ball up to $175 for some of the uniforms in its collection. Plans for a football line are also in the works.

 

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