Can you imagine walking into the main office of Microsoft and being greeted by Bill Gates? Or walking into Space X’s development hanger and Elon Musk getting up from his desk to say “Hello.” Or walking into the most trusted Rhode Island sporting goods store, owned locally since 1949, and receiving a warm handshake from the owner and an equally warm reception like “Hi there, I’m Steven Marocco.” Oh wait, that last one actually happened to me, today.
While the first two examples are completely far fetched, I actually did walk into Elmwood Sports Center in Cranston and met the owner, Steven Marocco. I was looking for some ideas for a left handed first baseman’s mitt for my son. Steven greeted me with warmth and shook my hand with a genuineness that you can never teach in business school. I mentioned my connection with North Kingstown Wickford Little League and then we sat down to chat for a bit.
Steven Marocco is a Rhode Island baseball (and sporting goods) encyclopedia of knowledge. His memory of league administrators, coaches, players, leagues is phenomenal. Rattling off teams and organizations he has helped, I literally lost count after 10 minutes of teams that Elmwood Sports supports and helps outfit every season. Whether it is a standard order, a new customer, a special order, or a rush order – the effort and dedication to a quality product never wavers. Leagues, like North Kingstown Wickford (formerly Wickford Little League) have been using Elmwood Sports for close to 40 years according to Steven and NKW league administrators.
Elmwood Sports Center is thriving in the modern world of the quick fix sporting goods orders. They may not always compete price wise, they may not have 10,000 likes on Facebook, or constant radio ads on talk radio. But Steven Marocco and Elmwood Sports understands the competition is out there and they pride themselves on being a trusted, local Rhode Island sporting goods resource. Word of mouth and repeat league customers have been the best marketing and advertising for Elmwood over the years. Steven did mention to me that he wants his customer base to know that the next generation of Elmwood Sports is focusing on more modern means of marketing and sales, while keeping that comfort level with walk-ins and phone sales.
The store was clean, the display racks were neat, the staff was friendly. If you want an education on why to choose this glove over that glove, to place a team jersey order, or just learn more about how Elmwood Sports Center can help your league, check out their business card shown here:
I had a great afternoon sitting down with Steven and learning more about his business and his family. His grandson, Jaxon, passed away tragically at the early age of 2 and leagues and local baseball administrators have helped raise money and awareness through the Jaxon Marocco Foundation. Steven’s left arm bears the name of his late grandson, Jaxon, who would have loved to play and be a normal kid despite his unfortunate illness. Several tournaments this summer have raised money for the Jaxon Marocco Foundation including the St. Greg’s, Sally Eddy, and Jax Marocco Friendship Tournaments. The end result of these efforts includes scholarships, a playground, and donations to other worthy charities here in Rhode Island and across the USA.
Please visit Elmwood Sports Center in Cranston on Elmwood Ave or online at http://www.elmwoodsportscenter.com. And if you do take the time to visit the store, make sure you say hello to Steven. You will be so glad you took the drive to Cranston to this Rhode Island Baseball Experience!!!
The RIBBE is The Rhode Island Baseball Experience. It is promoting the game of baseball here in the great state of Rhode Island for the entire baseball world to see. The RIBBE is positive stories, photos, videos, and responsible social media posts. The RIBBE is an information resource for families looking for an AAU team or a summer camp or a great place to buy a first baseman’s mitt. The RIBBE is a network of coaches, tournament directors, parents, leagues, and baseball junkies whose passion of the game of baseball is unquestioned. I believe that providing expert analysis, information and directions to ballfields, and coaching advice from some of the top RI baseball minds will help promote the game of baseball here in RI to a whole new level.