From the MiTek series on the American Craftsman, we bring you the story of Nokona, the classic purveyor of American-made baseball gloves. This story comes from the visual storytelling artist, Tadd Myers, a photographer who has captured the heart of the American craftsman in a pictorial masterpiece.
In 1934, the founders of Nokona took hometown pride to a new level: they named their company after their hometown of Nocona, Texas, with one twist: they were told they had to change the “c” to a “k” so the city itself wouldn’t be trademarked! This commitment to staying local informs the work they do every day. Every Nokona baseball glove is made in the US, for a fundamentally American pastime.
If you know baseball, you know Nokona gloves are a staple of the game. Both MLB Players and recreational players aspire to own a pair of these classic gloves; even Little Leaguers with Major League ambitions dream of owning a Nokona glove. Nokona often makes custom gloves and personalized gloves, but every glove meets the same standard of quality players expect from the name they trust.
Not that Nokona is content to rest on their laurels. On the contrary, they look for every opportunity to improve and innovate. For Nokona, aiming for performance and innovation while preserving their heritage and tradition, is not an oxymoron. It is because of their commitment to design and innovation that Nokona gloves may last a lifetime—and then get cleaned up and passed on to the grandkids. Some things about baseball never change.
As one glove-maker says, “When I see one on a ball field, I’m just ecstatic. I’m happy about that. That’s something that I did. That I had a part in, and I don’t think there’s a better feeling in the world.” It is clear Nokona makes their gloves with a dedication to craft and a love for the game. That sounds like one amazing mission to us.
This story was sourced from the American Craftsman Project website, with permission by the author, Tadd Myers. MiTek appreciates the heart of the American craftsman – the men and women who perform their work according to principles of integrity, hard work, quality and a desire to forge something that will create not just a lasting product, but a lasting relationship.