Franklin Sports got its start in 1946 as a regional brand of sporting goods products. Irving H. Franklin, who co-founded Franklin Sports in 1946 with his brother Sydney Franklin, brought the innovative idea of centering a complete line of products on a single athlete – Joe Namath. Over the years Franklin has affiliated with the best in sports including world-class athletes like Sugar Ray Leonard, David Robinson, Dan Marino, and Barry Bonds. The breakthrough for Franklin and the batting gloves came when Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt and Irving Franklin teamed up to create the basic design that is still the preferred glove of most major league hitters. Irving Franklin went to Clearwater, Florida, to meet with Schmidt during spring training in 1983. Together, they worked tirelessly to make sure that the materials and design were perfected, so collaboratively the two were the first authors. At that time, most players wore no gloves. A few wore a single golf style glove, but no company offered a product specifically designed for the needs of professional players. Franklin today is the industry leader as the premier batting glove company, and custom fits batting gloves for MLB® players.