Baseball, Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy: The Cooper and Parker Smith Story

·5-min read

Many of us remember our teenage years fondly, with new adventures to experience, places to discover and friendships to be made; However, not many of us can say that by age fourteen or fifteen we were already successful entrepreneurs and warm-hearted philanthropists.

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The story of Cooper and Parker Smith is precisely that story. The love of baseball and everything the game represents has always brought joy and inspiration for the brothers, even driving them to launch their own online business.

As the pandemic limited traditional activities and hobbies throughout last year, the brothers decided to keep active and continue practicing their beloved sport while staying at home. They tirelessly browsed online and were not thrilled by the quality of the baseball and fitness equipment that was available, and the fact that there was no way to see the products in action before ordering.

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From that realization, Can of Corns was born. Cooper and Parker began working on developing their own brand, product offering and a promise of always giving back. Their donations to youth sports programs paved the way for a deeper philanthropic calling.

As their brand continued growing and obtaining exceptional reviews online, the boys carefully researched multiple charitable organizations across America looking for the perfect fit. When they learned of the work that Feed the Children has done since 1979 to help end child hunger, the brothers were moved.

Their Keep Baseball Fun imprint has already made a mark within the sports inspired apparel marketplace, however, it was the “Punch Out Hunger” collaboration with Feed the Children what took things to the next level as more and more people decided to support the Smith brothers in their quest to inspire teenage entrepreneurs around the world to leverage their reach and online influence to effect positive change within their communities.

Featuring an eye-catching array of original designs inspired by the love of the game and specifically by the motion made by the umpire to signal that a batter has been struck out - as the brothers themselves explain on a video they created to promote their latest charitable endeavor – the ́Punch Out Hunger‘ collection has become a hot trend amongst young consumers who see the value not only in owning a limited edition piece of apparel, but also in contributing directly to make a difference through each purchase.

Cooper and Parker recently granted us an interview in which we asked them about their vision and motivation. Here ́s what the young entrepreneurs had to say:

What does baseball mean to the two of you? What do you love about it?

Parker - Baseball means everything to me, I love every aspect of it. I love the practices, I love the games and I love being around my team.

Cooper - Baseball means having fun and enjoying spending time with your friends and family. We love baseball because it gives us the opportunity to help other people; from product reviews to our punch-out hunger campaign.

When looking back at the icons that shaped your love for the game, are there any names that stand out in particular?

Cooper - Mookie Betts is one of our favorite players, we call him a human highlight reel. He is exciting to watch; he’s a home run thief!

Parker - When looking back, some of my favorite players have been Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw and countless others. For example, Mike Trout because of natural skill and ability to play the game and overall greatness.

Our non-traditional Baseball icons that make us laugh and Napier many of our posts include; Leslie Nielsen from Naked Gun, Benny the Jet from Sandlot, and everyone from the College Travel Baseball Team the Bananas!

How did you guys come up with the concept of Can of Corn and did you ever expect it to become so popular?

We are not totally surprised, when we looked around everything was so serious. So we decided to go back to keeping baseball fun; In the beginning we didn’t think we would be getting compliments and praise for our baseball reviews. It’s great to hear from a former player, Brett Tomko, how helpful all our reviews are even to someone with his knowledge of the game.

We are really proud of what we have done and really hope it continues to grow.

We know giving back is part of your philosophy; How is Can of Corn actively helping communities these days?

Today we are partnered with Feed the Children. We are in the middle of a “Punch-Out Hunger” campaign to sell custom apparel to raise money for the non-for- profit organization. This is where we need everyone’s help to go to our site and purchase a shirt for our cause.

Why did you choose to partner up with Feed the Children?

We had a couple of calls with their team and really clicked together. We liked their mission to help children in need around the world and we thought we could help them achieve their goals. 50% of all shirt profits goes to helping them feed children.

Cooper and Parker...keeping baseball fun is a big part of who you are. Can you share a fun baseball story of your own with our readers?

One of our favorite baseball memories was filming a wiffle ball bat review. Us and a whole bunch of our friends went to a little league field and filmed all of us doing bat flips and diving plays. It was awesome.

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