Baseball is often referred to as a “grind.”
From high school, to college to pro ball.
The number of games and time commitment required only grows.
Playing a 100 game or more schedule is as much a mental battle as it is physical.
But there is something about this grind that builds qualities that may go underdeveloped in other endeavors.
Perseverance, resilience, patience are just a few that come to mind.
Which brings me to Josh Band.
Josh is the founder of Plate Crate.
Plate Crate is a monthly subscription box filled with all kinds of baseball goodness.
I was able to catch up with Josh on the phone the other day for a quick interview.
We had a great chat about how he came up with the idea of Plate Crate and what it took to get it off the ground.
All of us love a good success story, so let’s go!
The Beginnings of Plate Crate
Josh spent parts of 3 years playing professional baseball in a number of leagues.
Believe it or not, many past and present professionals have to look for alternative ways to bring in money.
Whether it’s the offseason or mid-season, being a minor league baseball player often comes with a lot of financial struggle.
Yes there are a lot of guys that sign for hundreds of thousands, and even millions.
But most don’t and we can get creative when it comes to stretching the almighty dollar!
Host families, 6 players in a two bedroom apartment, peanut butter and jelly dinners or ten dollar Goodwill bikes as the main mode of transportation.
I can assure you it’s all been done before!
Josh, however, came up with a more practical (and honestly… smarter) way to supplement his baseball career.
Start a business.
Subscription businesses had been growing in popularity a few years ago so he thought “surely there has to been a subscription box for baseball.”
So in his host families house during the 2015 season, Plate Crate was born!
The Early Years
I loved hearing Josh describe the early years of the business.
Whether he was back home or playing, his office was his car. Wherever he went, the Plate Crate corporate offices went with him!
Check out this video where he talks a little bit about the beginning of the business:
When leaving for a road trip, he would pack up enough product to fill a couple of boxes just in case he received an order while they were out of town.
I imagine him tipping the club house manager to print shipping labels and make USPS runs during BP!
For marketing and spreading the word about his new business he focused most of his efforts on Instagram.
Things like shout outs would help grow his account while also trying to produce content baseball fans would enjoy.
He would even film himself doing bat tricks in the cages to hopefully create some viral content.
It worked and those were some of the most viewed videos on his account!
Slowly the business began to transition from a side hustle to a full time adventure.
While he’s no longer playing professionally, I could tell that his love of the game still drives a lot about what he does with Plate Crate.
What Comes In A Plate Crate?
Each month you will receive a shipment of 6-8 baseball related products.
Everything from socks to sunflower seeds to training equipment can be found inside the crate each month.
It’s perfect for players, parents, coaches or baseball fans in general!
Plate Crate is for the pure baseball enthusiast. Someone who appreciates a good bat grip just as much as a nice hat.
Each box is guaranteed to contain over $50 worth of products and contains different items each and every month!
There are many similarities between baseball and entrepreneurship.
No one forces you to play baseball professionally, nor do they force you to start a business.
You choose it.
Even so, the path isn’t always easy. There are hundreds of thousands of others competing for the same space.
There will be good days, bad days and everything in between.
What I love about Plate Crate is the growth seems to be a result of one simple thing.
Pick a customer you know and deliver great products to them over and over.
The market will usually determine the winners and losers based on how well they can do that very thing.
Josh and the rest of the team at Plate Crate seem to be doing it very well!
I enjoyed connection with Josh and look forward to watching his business expand and reach more and more people every month.
If you haven’t already, go to PlateCrate.com and sign up for your first box!