New Website. New Logo. New Mission.

Nathan Rueckert

Posted on October 31 2017

As a kid, I played Little League every year and absolutely LOVED my black leather Rawlings baseball glove.  But as I grew older, a time came when I outgrew that little black glove.  It served its purpose well for my first few seasons, but it was time to move on and break in a new glove. 

Similarly, today marks a new beginning for the Baseball Seams Co.  We’ve grown tremendously this past year thanks to you - our amazing customers and loyal social media followers.  It’s time to refresh everything and get ready for a new season!  We are SO EXCITED to announce the launch of our brand new website, a fresh new logo, and a more defined mission. 

For over 16 years, my small artisan business existed without a formal mission statement in place.  During this time, the company was more or less a one-man show; a side-hustle operated from the comforts of my own home.  In the back of my mind, I knew it would be wise to create a mission statement, but convinced myself that those are for people with “bigger businesses”; to help a culture of people rally around a common purpose; to make sure everyone is on the same page.  Maybe someday I’ll need something like that, I told myself.  I’ll just keep making artwork from old tattered baseballs because it’s fun to do, makes good money, and people love it.

Despite being formally without purpose or mission, I’ve enjoyed flashes of success during this time – fun stories like being in SkyMall Catalog; getting endorsed by Etsy’s CEO in a Business Insider article; having products sold in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY and a handful of Major League Baseball stadium gift shops; receiving orders to be given to people I greatly admire, like former President George W. Bush and Hall of Famers Wade Boggs and George Brett. 

But as fun and exciting as all this sounds, I sometimes ended my days with an empty feeling that is hard to describe.  I wasn’t intentionally connecting what I was doing with why I was doing it.  I was making thousands of pieces of really cool baseball art, but not fully appreciating my purpose behind it.

I recently attended a conference titled God As CEO sponsored by Paul TenHaken, founder and CEO of Click Rain in Sioux Falls, SD.  Paul gave a very inspiring presentation talking about various regional and national businesses leaders that intentionally incorporate faith into the workplace.  (You can watch most of the presentation on YouTube here).  What specifically struck me as meaningful was the idea of recognizing that God is in charge of my company and that I’ve been entrusted with the responsibility of running it in a way that brings Him honor and glory. 

A few scripture verses support this idea in Proverbs 16 and Colossians 3, where King Solomon and the Apostle Paul respectively outlines three things, paraphrased below:

  1. Give your best effort as if God was your boss (Colossians 3:23).
  2. Pledge your plans to God and He will establish them (Proverbs 16:3).
  3. Operate your business in the name of Jesus (Colossians 3:17).
  4. Thank God for your business (Colossians 3:17).

Within 24 hours of the conference, I decided to draft my first official mission statement for the Baseball Seams Company.  I wanted the mission statement to answer four questions:  What is our purpose?  How do we carry out the purpose?  Why do we do what we do?  How do we carry it out?   

After some prayer, reflection and discussion with friends, the final version reads:

“We strive to honor God and reflect His Love
by creating unique, meaningful products
that connect people and transform relationships
through the platform of baseball.”

Over time, what I’ve come to appreciate about the Baseball Seams Company is that we aren’t just an entity that exists to make cool things.  It goes much deeper than that.  We take old, worthless baseballs and give them new life because that’s what God does with us through Jesus. He takes our brokenness, our failures, our resentment, our addictions, our imperfections and decides to love us anyways. 

Unconditionally.  Recklessly. 

And although we’ll never do it perfectly, our goal as a company is to reflect God’s love through our products, our customer service, how we interact with vendors, and how we treat one another.  Our new logo is also a reflection of these same values – the seams point up to remind us that none of this is possible without the One who provides, creates and restores.

This year, we’ve grown from just me in my basement to over 10 part-time production analysts, artwork apprentices, a social media team, and an operations manager that oversees it all.  We’ve outsourced shop space in downtown Sioux Falls for order fulfillment, shipping and receiving.  We’re on the verge of releasing our first published book titled America At The Seams: 50 Stories in 50 States of How Baseball Unites Our Country

So crazy.  I’m so thankful to be part of this adventure.  Will you run the bases with me?

Nathan Rueckert,
Artist, and Founder of Baseball Seams Co.

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