Conversation with KC Mack of Mack Provisions. All about Wallets, Baseball mitts, and more!
In this episode we have a conversation with KC Mack of Mack Provisions. KC shares his story about how he started making wallets and other leather items using vintage Baseball gloves as the source material.
Based in Port Angeles KC Mack creates amazing wallets and other leather items. In our conversation KC shares how he got started and he explains his work process.
We chat a bit about his Baseball story and we share our thoughts on the West Coast League and more.
You can visit his website here. It's a beautiful site and his passion shows through with each photo.
KC makes for a great guest. I hope you enjoy the episode.
If you want other great ideas of places to visit, or to find out more about people who are making amazing things in Washington State you can visit Explore Washington State.
Each episode will will have a chat with someone who has a great story to share about Washington State. From artists, to business owners. Musicians to athletes Exploring Washington State will showcase the beauty and creativity here in Washington State.
You can find all of our podcast episodes on our Exploring Washington State Podcast Page.
If you have any suggestions for guests for a future episode please send us an email.
Remember, there is always more to explore.
Announcer : Welcome to this episode of The exploring Washington podcast with your host, Scott Cowan.
Scott Cowan : Everyone, this is KC Mack. He is the owner of Mac provisions and he is based out of Port Angeles. Casey, why don't you tell our listeners a little bit about what you do? Are you and your backstory?
KC Mack : Yeah, for sure my Yeah. So like you said, my name is KC Mac and I own a company called Mac revisions. And I take vintage baseball mitts and repurpose them into everyday carry items like wallets and key chains and stuff like that. So,
Scott Cowan : yeah, so how long have you been doing this?
KC Mack : I started in 2014 but went full time in 2018. So it's been a couple of years. Have this being my full time gig.
Scott Cowan : Okay, so when we talked offline before you told me a quick story, I'd like you to share it again. We're about the first time you found or you bought a baseball mitt. The old the buckle back.
KC Mack : Yep. The Yeah, it was. It's cool because I sent you the picture of that I've had it since I was, I think 12 or 13. I can't remember the exact year but we were traveling I played a lot of tribal baseball growing up and you know when to when he for a tournament went to an antique store. And when he and found this old, Joe Gordon buckle back met from the late 20s, maybe early 30s. And or wait, yeah, early 30s. And, and that's where I fell in love with the aesthetic of old baseball gloves. So I've had a fascination for leather and baseball and old gloves from basically then.
Scott Cowan : So what's interesting to me is when you when you talk to people, they we tend to fall into two camps. People that like really modern stuff like they're, they're totally into the latest tech and it's something that's three years old is like, Oh, that's so old and ugly. And then there's other people that are like totally into the old, you know, the vintage. You know, whether it be baseball mitts, or I collect, I collect baseball cards, but so I find it interesting why when people go and look towards the historical vintage stuff. And so, we have a connection there. So, so what, what was the inspiration behind doing this? I mean, where did you Where'd you come up with this idea? And kind of walk us through that?
KC Mack : Yeah, definitely. I like I just said, I love old baseball mitts. I mean, I have since I was very young. And for me, it started there. And then I got into releasing myths. And for me, that taught me a lot about how a glove is done. signed in, you know where holes were and how to redo mitts. You know, I've been doing that a very long time done a lot of releasing permits and fixing them up and stuff. And so, in 2014, I read an article from a company called Art of Manliness, I haven't, I don't even follow them. But I found an article that was talking about how to make a wallet and in that it showed how to cut pockets and dimensions of cards and cash. And so that really set a foundation for me. And so it's kind of these two worlds collided, I already knew a lot about baseball gloves. And then I was teaching myself and learning online, how to design stuff like that, and that kind of came together. So originally, I started out just making you know, I bought fresh hide, and just went to cut leather and just use normal leather. But I did, I did have a stack of gloves that were old, but were really falling apart. But the leather was still good. So I Kind of mash those two worlds together to start basically starting the foundation to make provisions.
Scott Cowan : So where do you find these gloves?
KC Mack : Oh, all over um, I have a few people who are always looking for me they're back east and they are professional Junkers, they find old old stuff. They do a lot of the legwork for me. Yeah, so like I have like, about 10 minutes coming from a guy who's in Connecticut right now. So he's always looking for me. And I'll occasionally reach out and say any new fines and he'll say, yeah, here's pictures of them. What do you think so it's that to antiquing to garage sales to in my girlfriend Lindsay will attest anytime we go anywhere. And we see an antique store we got a 100% stop.
Scott Cowan : So stop and go through it for like the gloves.
KC Mack : Yeah, yep, she's I've got her trained well Hey trying herself to find the myths that she knows what I like and what I what I'm looking for. And she's, she has a really good eye for that stuff. So she's she's very helpful.
Scott Cowan : Yeah. So when we, you know, when we my wife, and I click different things and you're totally not not related. And so when we walk through the stores, you know, I'm only looking for baseball memorabilia is probably the only thing I'll spend money on. And so I run through an antique store and like, three times faster than her because I don't care about anything else, and she's looking through stuff. But it's funny what your eye begins to pick up when you're trained. Oh, yeah, totally. Totally. So. So when you're, when you're buying these these gloves, how, how new and how old? Are they the ones that you're using to make the wallets?
KC Mack : Yeah, good question because I don't think a lot of people realize but I tend to stick to gloves that were manufactured from the late 30s to the late 60s. Anything before is more collectible and anything else There's made overseas so I won't even touch myths that are made overseas once club manufacturers went overseas, they see a real decline in quality and leather. Because they're outsourcing not only the labor, but they're outsourcing the where they got the leather and a lot of times the leather that use in the gloved manual, you know, to manufacture the gloves overseas, mostly came from South America where the cattle aren't treated as nice as they are in America. And usually they're sick cattle. And that reflects the leather so 40 to 60 is kind of where I camp out.
Scott Cowan : Interesting. So that's I hadn't thought about in those terms. So that's that's actually really interesting that you're, you're really looking at it, which kind of was not the most baseball was really popular around World War Two. So I would guess that there would be hopefully a relatively large inventory for you to find. Yeah, definitely.
KC Mack : Like yesterday I got it a glove that was manufactured for the US Army. During World War Two, yeah. So during that war time, companies like Wilson and Rawlings were got government contracts to build baseball gloves for special branches of the military for wartime play, especially towards the latter part of the war like 1944 45, where it started to really see that the Allied forces were winning. And let the people in the you know, in the service, play baseball, which is cool, because there were a lot of people like anybody from like Yogi Berra, to a bunch of other players who weren't playing Ted Williams names. They weren't playing Major League Baseball, but they were playing baseball still, just, you know, in Germany and stuff.
Scott Cowan : Right? So what's, you know, what's been is there an interesting story that you have about finding a mitt and or do your clients ever call you up and say, hey, I've got this glove, I want you to make a wallet out of it or you know what sort of interesting things Come up so far.
KC Mack : Yeah, that's a great question. Um, it is fun when somebody sends me their personal glove. You know a lot of times when a kid gets their glove what's the first thing they do is they write their name on it. And so i a lot of times get to incorporate that their own handwriting on the glove into the wallet that they you know, I just I do this all the time. And it's fun because I had recently or not recently but maybe a year ago I did one for a lady who her husband passed away and she had two boys. And I think for Christmas she wanted to have this glove get turned into to a wallet for her two boys for Christmas for their father who had just passed so it was a real special project to make something for the kids to remember their dad by so that was something they could use every day. You know glove you don't use every day but a wallet you can and that every time they use it or pull it out there, you know to remind them of their father.
Scott Cowan : Well and not just that with with two with two sons in one glove. You One could have it one wouldn't get it. So this way they were both able to, to have we have them have the momentum. Yeah. So that's, that's, that's really cool. It was really special.
KC Mack : I get it all the time and people love to do that they love to send in their glove and I'll gladly take it in no matter what I mean, unless it's cracked or if the leather, you know, if the leather is cracked and has showing real, real significant signs of wear, I can't re stitch into it. It's just not possible. So there are some requirements. But yeah, if you want to send me your level do it.
Scott Cowan : That's cool. That's that's really cool. Yeah. So that would be kind of a neat, a neat way to repurpose something as a memento. Right. That's really cool. So walk us through the process of you know, you've we found the globe, it's in your it's in your workspace right now. What are you going to do with it?
KC Mack : Yeah, it's Yeah, so I call this is what I call gutting. And so I will completely take all the lessons That's how you get started Did you take all the lace, remove all the lace and then a lot of times it's stitched together so I remove all the leather from all the stitching in there. So there's the wool felt padding that you pulled out. So it's take the lace, remove the stitching and remove the the the wool guts. And then from there I have so my whole lineups cut with a click clicker die. So in my workshop, I've probably 20 clicker dice that I have a four ton clicker press that cuts all this out. And so I take it over, you know, the piece of glove, take it over to the clicker to the clicker press and then cut out each wallet type that I'm whatever I'm making.
Scott Cowan : So explain because I don't I don't understand what a clicker presses. So why don't you explain that a little bit?
KC Mack : Yeah, so a clicker die is the shape of my my wallet or a pocket or anything and so instead of hand cutting, which takes Significant more amount of time to do. I have these clicker dice that have my exact dimensions. And they're perfect because they're consistent through and through. They're the same cut every time. They're sharp metal dye. And I have this press that I can take up to four tons of pressure that hand operate, and it's a lever that pulls down on the dye and cuts out the shape of the pocket or the part of the wallet.
Scott Cowan : Okay. All right, that makes sense. Yep. So we've we've gutted the glove, we've we've cut it out. Mm hmm. Now, when I when I talked earlier, when I looked on your website, your hand stitching is 100%. Yeah. And you're doing a double stitch. Which seems similar to me to how a baseball itself is stitched together, right? Yeah, it might be Am I correct that Or am I wrong?
KC Mack : Well, it's a little different baseball. You have two, two pieces of thread per stitch. Mine's just one but I have two needles, one thread It's your traditional saddle stitch. Which means that as you pass through a hole, you put the other needle through and pull tight. So it's a very repetitive process. It's very, for me, it's really relaxing, especially on like my bigger wallet, my passport wallet called the long ball. It's like, a mile of stitching so I can really, you know, go really fast and it's kind of relaxing for me at least
Scott Cowan : therapeutic if you Oh, yeah, for sure. So then, okay, so let me ask you this. So when I look at your wallets, I see. So the outer side of the wallet is the old, the old glove, right? And then you're using new leather on the inside.
KC Mack : Right, right. And so the so I like to and I very early on wanted to have this contrast between the really worn baseball glove exterior, with the interior made out of what it's called. It's called vegetable tanned. It's now vege tan. And I think the contrast between the really new undyed doesn't have any dye in it to the baseball glove that has a lot of character and stuff. It's a cool contrast. And it's really cool because the natural vegetation, I get it from a company called Hermann oak. They're based in St. Louis, Missouri. They've been tan and hide since the Civil War, one of the oldest tanneries in America. You know, towards the latter part of the 60s a lot of high manufacturers moved operations overseas. And so they're like one of maybe five tannery still left in America still doing it. Never really cool water recycling program because you require a lot of water to tan the hides. And they have a very strict EPA regulated Walter water filtration systems. So I mean, they're really cool company. I really could nerd out and tell you a lot about That company but yeah, it's so it's natural in color. And over years of use, it turns to a dark rich color. So not only do you have this new, you know, this new looking color versus the old color, but you also get this patina on the inside over years of use. So it's cool to see the transition and have that story with it. Well, yes, because with each of these, these wallets, they're the leather the exterior leather, if you will, is unique because every glove has been worn and right used or abused differently. I mean, I don't think any two two gloves are going to look never the same. You know? That's, that's cool that you've got I like that the contradict. Yeah, yeah. The current contrast.
Scott Cowan : And then so we've we've cut it, we've sewn it together. What's the we're not done yet are we know it so?
KC Mack : Yeah, so I glue all the pieces together. punch my hole. Those are called pricking iron. So I pick all the holes, then I can stitch it. And then I go on to kind of the last step which is called sanding, sanding and burnishing. So I sand the all the edges so that they have a nice even edge. And then I take it to have this it's a it's a wheel, belt driven wheel that does the sanding on one side and the burnishing on the other and so if you're not another person burnishing probably sounds weird. But I take beeswax and I put it on the edge of the leather. And I have this wheel that's wood and when you apply friction to the leather, it creates a finished edge and beeswax will create a finish edge on the on the on on leather. So yeah, it's a really cool finishing touch. It creates a really smooth edge for you.
Scott Cowan : And just to kind of seal those edges. I mean it's the beeswax get into the the grain of the leather there. Yeah, kind
KC Mack : of combined. them all together. And it's cool because I get the beeswax from a third generation bee farmer over on in eastern Washington. So not only is all my stuff Made in America, I try to source as much materials from as local as I can and the beeswax made over over there in eastern Washington. Very cool.
Scott Cowan : Yeah. So you didn't ask where's the thread come from? Are you using what type of thread? Yeah, and and why I guess.
KC Mack : Um, so I use a linen thread. And I put a lot of research into this but linen thread for me, is it's not only durable, it lasts long. And if it ever wears, I can re stitch it. So the hard part about using a man made thread is it's gonna, it's gonna last longer than your leather. And so when over time, that thread is going to wear on the leather and Then eventually it's going to perforate the leather so you can't really fix it. Whereas any sort of natural thread like linen, it will it will wear before the little leather which is easy because I can just re stitch and if somebody ever has a wall that needs to be stitched, I made them I'll gladly do it for free. And that thread comes from France it's the only piece of material that I don't have. That's from America. But it is the best thread linen thread on the market. So okay, very cool. Yeah, it's pretty cool company. They've been around since like the early 1800s making random threads.
Scott Cowan : Okay, so I mean you've you've taken great care and picking your suppliers and and the components of of your product, right? Not very long Walmart or, or Home Depot or something in buying something off the shelf because it's on sale. You're You're sourcing your your vendors, and you've you've picked good people to work
KC Mack : with Yes, if I'm going to try to You know, highlight anything from this conversation is I've put a lot of time and effort into sourcing my materials. You know, your I have there, I'm not gonna lie they're a higher end wallet as far as pricing. And I think my, my, you know, MSRP is reflective in the materials and the process and making it so if I could highlight anything is I put a lot of effort into sourcing good mitts and materials to make these wallets or items.
Scott Cowan : No Sure. Because they're, they're, they're gorgeous. I mean, yeah, see Nike, just a really, I mean, when we were first told about you, we saw so I'll explain to everybody how I how you and I were introduced, somebody from the western league posted about you on Facebook, and that you're going to be on evening magazine. Yeah. And, and I'm like, wow, that's baseball. And it's Washington State. This is like my world. Classes cool. And so I'd never heard of you, right? Never Never heard of your of you Not that I know everything because I don't but I'd never heard of you. And I and I go and I check out your website. And I'm like, Oh, this is really cool. Because you have you have a really, for me, I really liked what you've done online with your online presence.
KC Mack : Awesome. Yeah. And effort in to try to make that.
Scott Cowan : Yeah. Yes. It looks it looks great. And so I shared it with a couple of my friends saying, Hey, have you guys heard of this? And you know, the other baseball fans are like, no, no. And so they were checking you out. And so I reached out to you and we had a conversation and it was and then your your evening magazine episode dropped in? I don't know. How did that go for you? Did you see an uptick, an uptick in interest? I mean, tell us about that. Oh, yeah, like,
KC Mack : Yeah, I was just comparing my April 2020 to my April 2019. And it's like 200% increase in in profit and in So yeah, I mean, by and large, it was unbelievable.
Scott Cowan : Yeah. Which is, which is interesting because, you know, at the time of this, this conversation, we're, I don't wanna say locked down but we're not moving freely about the state. And and so it's a new read in the paper about all these businesses who are suffering financial hardship and struggles. Right. And, and yet you're, you're having a good a good month. Maria Yeah, it's
KC Mack : amazing. I can't believe it, you know, when the when the, the the feature was dropped. I was like, if I remember saying to my girlfriend, Lindsay, if I get one sale, I'll be happy. And that night. I mean, I had thought like literally, one point we had 1000 people on my website, which I've never seen. I mean, that's a lie.
Scott Cowan : You had 1000 at once, yeah, at one time.
KC Mack : Yeah. So my my website See, I have a feature. It's called Live View. So I can see how many people are on my website at one time. You know, in the past, I've gotten excited when I saw like five. But then that night we were I took screenshots on my phone because I was like, holy cow, look at this. This is crazy. Just the amount of people on my website at once was was awesome. Unbelievable. So
Scott Cowan : that's, that's, that's great. I really am happy to hear I just love the fact that people are being creative doing things in here you are running a business selling baseball glove wallets. I mean, I think that's not the only thing you sell, but I think it's just cool that you're because you could be you know, doing anything you could be working a corporate job and right now here you are doing something creative that you're you're passionate about.
KC Mack : Yeah, and I'm not gonna lie It's not like it's easy one running your own business and to trying to be profitable at the same time. You know, I I come from people. who run their own businesses. My dad owns two businesses in Spokane. One of the businesses that he runs was owned by my mom's dad, that started in 1950. So I mean, there's business has been in my family for a long time. And so anybody who owns a small business knows that it's incredibly hard to do. And this is a one person shop, it's run everything by me. So if I email you, it's for me, if, if the myths I'm looking for is all done by me, handmade by me, shipped out by me. So it's tough to run a small business these days. And I'm just thankful that people are interested in you know, keep me, you know, pursuing my dream. And that's awesome.
Scott Cowan : Yeah. So we've kind of jumped over your backstory, how you you Washingtonian. Tell us so you're in Port Angeles now? Yeah. You grew up in Spokane. Right, right. Yep. Yeah. Okay. So why what happened when he left Spokane to play baseball, right?
KC Mack : Yeah, so I out of high school I got a scholarship at Green River Community College to play there. After Green River. I went back to Spokane and played at Whitworth University. And so, once I stopped playing baseball, I was so burned out. I'd been my brother and I had been playing competitive baseball from a very early age. And I just got to the point where there's a lot of politics in college ball and a lot of I guess I got to choose my words wisely here, but there's a lot of stuff that goes on that I was just sick of. So I quit baseball and I moved to Alaska. And I lived up there for about 10 years. And I met a girl who was from Alaska, but living in PA. So I had to move here to be with her and then
Scott Cowan : No, for Yeah, pa or Angeles.
KC Mack : Yes. Sorry. Pa Port Angeles, not Pennsylvania. A lot of people get that mixed up. And that's the abbreviated sorry.
Scott Cowan : Yeah, that's it. You're sound like a local PA. Right. So, so how long have you been in Port Angeles?
KC Mack : About a year and a half? Maybe a little bit more.
Scott Cowan : Okay. Yep. And she's in she's been important angels for longer than that.
KC Mack : Yeah. Since 2015. So yeah, her and her family moved down. Her dad works out at the prison called Bay. So they moved from Juneau and she's also originally from would be Island but before that her her parents are from Seattle and that whole kind of general Seattle Tacoma area. So yeah, so we were both Washingtonians you know, through and through.
Scott Cowan : So, you know, we typically always ask people, you know, tell us some of your favorite places. I mean, we're all about talking to Small businesses were all about, you know, nothing wrong with, you know, large companies, but they don't need promotion. Where's it? Where's it? Tell me some cool things important Angeles, where should somebody listening to this if they go up to Pa? What would be a good place for them to go to?
KC Mack : Right? I would say by and large my favorite places like Crescent. So and anybody who I think thinks of Port Angeles also thinks of going to that like it's a beautiful lake. It's really cool. It's really cold last summer, we went swimming probably half a dozen times. It's a cold water, but it's really fun to go out there and go swimming and there's beautiful mountains and I mean, Port Angeles is seeing a huge uptick in I think tourism, a lot of people are coming to here to kind of escape you know, the business of Seattle and go camping out here and it's a really cool place because we've got the ocean, you know, obviously right at sea level and then We have these huge dramatic mountains still impacts behind us and so just the the scenery all in between it's just it's awesome so yeah Lake crescents by circle to circle back Lake crescents. Probably one of my favorite places.
Scott Cowan : How about in the rest of the state? Like when you were growing up in Spokane? Was there anything in Spokane that you thought was, you know, a younger you? Was there something as a kid you thought it was cool in Spokane?
KC Mack : Uh, well, uh, growing up, we had a cabin out on Lake Roosevelt, which is a little bit more west to Spokane, but yeah, I mean, now, you know, it's such a cool state, right? We have the west side that's really kind of mountainous and you know, evergreen and then you kind of go towards the middle and Eastern becomes kind of that that desert deep place and so a lot of my youth is spent in kind of, you know, like Roosevelt is a river basically and just growing up with really Hot weather and Desert, desert, you know, weather. So it's kind of a cool, cool place. So I love the contrast between those kind of two different areas in our own state. It's very neat.
Scott Cowan : So, to come back to your company Mac provision, yeah, you don't just do wallets, you do key chains. You're doing some other leather stuff. What else are you guys? What else are you? I say you guys, and it's just you, but what else? What other products? Are you? Are you doing right now? And is there anything that you think you might be doing that you want to talk about? I don't know that there is but you know, is there something new on the horizon?
KC Mack : Um, yeah, I've put a lot of time and effort into thinking about it. So just as an aside my background before Mac provisions, I worked up in Alaska for a company called Alaska tent and tarp. And so I have some sewing background in making tents and tarps. So I think I have an industrial sewing machine and so I think my next step is going To start making masks just because a lot of people they're not leather, but they're a different product that I can kind of work into my lineup. And so I've been sourcing American made canvas and American made elastic American made thread to build a mask, especially when fall comes. I think I'll be launching that just because there is that that prediction that when fall comes, we're going to have a hit. And so I think making masks is kind of my next my next bigger project. I think
Scott Cowan : that's that's really, really interesting. So, Canvas, US Canvas Canvas elastic are very cool.
KC Mack : Yep. Yep, they you need. They say a tightly woven fabric and so this is going to be a tenant's canvas. So it's kind of on the heavier side, but definitely close knit, which is what they want for for people who are wearing a mask.
Scott Cowan : Very Okay, that's that's that's really cool. Yeah. So if somebody wants to check you out, where where can they go? Where do they find you on social media? Where do they find you online? You know all of that. Go ahead and give a shout out.
KC Mack : Yeah, so it's just Mack provisions calm and then I'm pretty active on Instagram mostly is where I camp out just because I like to take photos I have a nice full frame camera so I try to take some really nice shots of my product so that's just at Mac provisions.
Scott Cowan : Okay, excellent. Well, thank you for for being with us here today and continued success because you're just I loved your stuff it's it's cool. And I think everyone should go check out it macro visions calm, we'll put a link in the below in the show notes so that they can click on it if they want. Yeah, and yeah, is there anything else you want to say?
KC Mack : No, it's Scott. I just really appreciate you being interested. It's been nice to you know, you and I to talk we've probably chatted three times and it's just nice to develop friendships and, and work with other companies like you and I love what you guys are doing. So I really appreciate it. Thanks, man, it's it's genuinely it's
Scott Cowan : Yeah, I just in fact my just not anybody cares. This is more like I should hit the button and stop recording to share this but it's like my next business cards gonna be based on the old Oh back tobacco cards right? Yeah, and we're gonna we're gonna we're going to my my designer buddy's taking that layout. I'll probably cut this out of the show, maybe I'll leave it Who knows. But anyway, we're taking that old tobacco card layout and we're gonna have my image, put it in a jersey, you know, and, and it'll be the business card. And that's really, and I can't think of a better place to put that than in one of your wallets because it's just everything ties together. Yep.
KC Mack : Oh, yeah. For the sake of baseball just keep this in there because anybody who knows old tobacco cards will love that design in your business card. So very cool. So we
Scott Cowan : let's let's if you got a second let me let's just go some completely different that was kind of the initial thing that brought me to your brought you to my attention. What, if anything, I'll put you on to spot you may not know how to answer this but what if anything, can you say about the western the western league? And because there's there seems to be Bellingham Port Angeles, Wenatchee, Yakima, Walla Walla, Kelso
KC Mack : and then there's the Bend Elks.
Scott Cowan : Portland pickles, Portland pickles
KC Mack : and then team in Victoria BC,
Scott Cowan : right. So for the most part, it's a Washington State league.
KC Mack : It's basically a Washington, some Oregon some bc so but yeah, yeah. Basically Washington State's through and through.
Scott Cowan : So when we talk to her, you, you know, you know, a couple of coaches in the league and all that. It's hard to find a lot of background on that league. What if what's sort of all players? I mean, they're these are college kids, right?
KC Mack : Yes. Yeah, for the most part, for the most part. I think there are some cases where they're getting a high school kid who's graduated and going into college into college. But I think that's pretty rare. But for the most part, this is a very competitive league. I mean, very, very, very high end ballplayers. My brother played multiple years with the bend Elks and Walla Walla suites. And so he played at Seattle, you and so mostly, not always, but there's a lot of D one players and some D two, and some NAIA kids but for the most part, these are kind of big league breeding grounds. It's a wood bat league. So a lot of scouts come to the game. And when I was in college, I did a partial summer with the Spokane river hawks which was at one point part of that league but had dropped out so a lot of guys who really good ballplayers who play in this league end up going pro, basically get drafted.
Scott Cowan : And is this in correct me if I'm wrong is is the western league. For many of these kids, the first competitive league with wood bats that they're playing in,
KC Mack : it depends, you know, so like when I went to Green River, that was the community college system and and Washington State's all what bat. So it really depends. But for the most part, a lot of these kids come from their school using a mat, a metal bat and then play the summer and what but it's been in my experience that when you play college ball, you do your fall ball, your winter cuts all with a wood bat and then you come into league play with metal bat. So for the most part, people are used to using wood.
Scott Cowan : Okay, so it's not just some radical transition, that that they're used to swinging You know, this right. The ball get comes off the bat a little differently. Oh,
KC Mack : yeah. I mean, there's a lot of science into it. I mean, obviously, what's a natural material? And so if you make a mistake with your swing, and You know, hit it on a part of the bat you you could end up breaking it. Whereas with a metal bat, obviously, you may you might get away with a certain with some muscling off a wall compared to a wood bat. So there's a Yeah, obviously some disadvantages to using a wood bat, which makes it interesting makes it fun. So, do you go to the world right now? There's no games, but last year, did you go to some of the Port Angeles games? Yeah. Well, I went to a few lefties games. It was fun. Yeah, the the owners Matt achor. I'll give him a little shout out. He was my college coach at Green River. So it's kind of a small world. I had no idea he was here. Before he used to own the Kitsap blue jackets and I thought he was kind of still there doing that. But when I came to PA, he had started the lefties I think a couple couple years ago 2016 he moved from Bremerton to pa and they're huge, huge for this community. People love going to civic feel watching the leftist Play. And it's a fun environment. A lot of people drinking beer hanging out,
Scott Cowan : right? Yep. Yeah, the Wenatchee Apple Sox play at the it's a community college and it's a they, the new owner, the owner purchased them a couple of the current owner purchased them a couple years ago. Right. And they have really put a lot of time and effort into the fan experience. Right and making it a lot of fun to go, you know, in over here and when he June in July, it's it's in the 70s 80s you know, so it's nice and warm out. It's not like as a kid I grew up in Tacoma. And so I'd go to cine Stadium, right? This is brutal. Unless it's it's just so cold. I mean, this is miserable. Yep. But over here, the apple Sox they do a really I'm super pleased with how they they treat the fan. Oh, yeah. And, and the quality of play is good. I mean, It is it's a fun, it's a fun thing. And you know, I'll I'll recommend anybody that's in in one of those markets to make sure you go check out a team because it's it's great entertainment and good competitive baseball, right? Yeah,
KC Mack : like I said, these, these are guys who are, you know, have their foot in into the next, you know, league which is basically playing minor league ball big league ball. And so there's a slew of players who have played in this league that are now playing in the major leagues, which is so you're basically getting a big league experience for you know, like games I think are like 10 bucks. So I mean, real cheap, and that's a great seat. Yep. And that Yeah, yeah. And that's for Yeah, like the best seat in the house. And it's a real fun experience. And not only does it it creates a cool atmosphere, but it's also like we have a couple vendors, food vendors that, you know, they probably do really good and it's a good experience for a lot of companies and a lot of people supporting local communities and I mean, America is the pastime. I mean, we, we I think we kind of gather around this sport and it's good for the soul good for the, you know, just for camaraderie good for our people.
Scott Cowan : Yeah, the one thing about baseball that you know that makes it completely different than most almost all the other popular sports and certainly different than, you know football basketball and hockey. Yes. There is no the game will last as long as it takes there is no you know, there is no halftime it's it's gonna go on and nine innings or 18 at some time.
KC Mack : There's a lot of rules and regulations to the game that are so unique, you know, I mean, yeah, there's no timeframe. There's nine innings which is I guess a timeframe but that plays out how it wants to play out. There's not a like a football field has a universal you know, hundred yards, right? Right. Baseball, we have all unique different parks. You just have to have 90 feet you know Between bases and stuff. It also there's, there's, it's a unique sport and I think it reflects us as Americans. It's
Scott Cowan : in the parks, are you? Right? The parks are all radically? No. Well, there was a while in Major League Baseball where they were kind of standardizing them in the 60s and 70s. Right, those, the Astrodome and things like that, where they were just the parks were pretty sanitized and boring, in my opinion. Like, I mean, for years we play there. Yeah, I tried to block out the kingdom, my brain, but you know, you know, six stadium before that in Seattle, but, you know, you start looking at the old dimensions of some of the old ballparks and you look at the dimensions of the new ballparks at you know, Safeco or whatever it's called now, T Mobile. You know, that was part of that whole renaissance of retro looking stadiums. Right and, and it's it's neat that, you know, each ballpark, I think, is Houston's got like the center field. It rises up
KC Mack : they weren't they removed it but yeah, at one point they had a hill in the in the back area. Yeah, I mean that was even their, their their home run fence there. I think it's kind of similar to the green monster. They have a really short porch in left field, but they have a really tall fence kind of like the green monster in Fenway. So I think each Park is unique and I think it's a beautiful thing. Yeah,
Scott Cowan : I mean, yeah, I've not been to the Port Angeles ballpark but it's not gonna look like the Wenatchee ballpark No, it's not look like the ballpark in Walla Walla know the one year civic fields basically a football
KC Mack : field converted into a baseball field. So I think the I think the high school football place there during the you know, in the fall, so they switch over it's, it's, it's unique, but you know, that's the point of baseball, you can get up and play anywhere.
Scott Cowan : Right, exactly. And so we went way off tangent on this, but that's okay. It's my show. I can do what I Well, listen, thank you so much for being on and we'll put in the show notes where people can find you. I encourage everyone to check out macro visions and even more than check them out. Take a look at those handcrafted items. They're they're beautiful and you should have one in your in your wallet. Or you should have in your pocket, I guess not your wall. But anyway. All right, I'm gonna sign off. Thank you, everyone. Thanks, Casey. Yeah, thanks. All right,
KC Mack : really appreciate it.
Scott Cowan : Anytime.
Announcer : Thank you for tuning in to another episode of The exploring Washington podcasts. Check for our presence on social media pages. And let us know if you know of someone whose contribution to the state needs to be heard. You can reach us at podcast at explore Washington state.com Transcribed by https://otter.ai