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Rawlings? Wilson? Feh. Make My Mitt a Nokona, Dang It.

Nice Associated Press story this afternoon about Nocona Athletic Goods Company and its damn-right resurrection, following the July 18, 2006, fire that destroyed the then-80-year-old manufacturer of the best danged baseball gloves in the U.S.A., located about 100 miles northwest of Dallas. While Rawlings and Wilson do most of their mitt-making overseas, Nocona is the great American hero; somewhere in the closet's my old Nokona mitt (it's spelled with a "k," since the government wouldn't allow the manufacturer to trademark a town's name), all beat to hell and three sizes too small anyhow. Notes the piece, Nocona will still turn out "75,000 handmade gloves in 2008," or a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the 5.1 million mitts sold last year. Gotta love owner Rob Storey's story: "We never considered laying anybody off. That's not the way we do business." --Robert Wilonsky

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