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Our Story

Go to any ballpark. Breathe deep and take it all in... The sights, the sounds, even the smells. Fresh cut grass and the leather of a well-worn mitt… The aroma of those healthy ballpark hotdogs wafting through the air...  Now try to tell me that some part of you doesn’t instantly feel ten years old.  You can’t not fall in love with this game. And like every beautiful relationship, there’s a story to tell. So grab some tissues. Here’s our story.

Softball Fans isn’t a name we take lightly. We’ve always been fans of the game. In 2003 however, we became more than just fans. The popular online softball forum, Mohr Board, started to lose some steam. Forum members were looking for an alternative and the Softball Fans idea was born. Our Softball Fans forum was launched in March 2003 as a place for players to talk about their bats, their teams, tournaments and the calls that didn’t go their way.  The slow pitch softball community immediately found a new home. Our forum quickly grew in popularity and because hosting a forum wasn’t cheap, we decided to sell some ad space to help out with the costs. Simple referral ads on the forum started generating enough traffic that we drew the attention of some major brands like Miken and Mizuno. Were we interested in expanding into sales, too? Heck yeah, we were interested in selling some sweet softball gear! One problem though. To become their authorized distributors, they required us to have an actual retail store. Our online forum and an 800 number ringing to a home phone wouldn’t cut it, not if we wanted to sell the good stuff.

Never one to back down from a challenge, the decision was immediately made to expand Softball Fans into a full-fledged retailer. Go big or go home, right? In less than a month, our two-man Softball Fans team moved out of the basement of our founder’s home and set up shop in an old schoolhouse off Cox’s Road in Portage, Michigan. The old school building wasn’t bad, but orders were starting to roll in. By 2006, we needed more room. Sales exploded like a bird hit by a Randy Johnson fastball. Our sweet, hand-made wooden racks were overflowing with inventory and we could barely keep up. The next several years brought more success. Expansion continued with more products from more brands and a bigger staff… and we had to move more than once just to accommodate it all.

So there we were... the Softball Fans team roster had grown. Our location had changed and most importantly, our little company, started by two guys and a simple idea, had made our mark as a premier provider of softball equipment. Time to take a deep breath and a enjoy a little vacation? No way. That’s not our style. We decided to create another company, Hardball Fans, to sell baseball gear.

Still not willing to sit back and rest, we started looking for something more to offer local athletes. Our customers needed a place to practice and play in the off-season, more importantly, a place to train indoors during the cold Michigan winters. There were a few other indoor batting cages around, but there was nothing like we what we had in mind… (rub hands together and insert evil genius laugh here). The search for a new location was on again.  And this time we needed something way bigger.

In 2010, our ideas became reality with a state-of-the-art softball and baseball training facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In typical Softball Fans style, (and with a lot of help from coffee and Mountain Dew) our team moved all of our inventory to the new facility over a weekend and then resumed operations the very next Monday.

If you haven’t been to our facility, well… then shame on you.  It’s worth visiting. At least we can tell you about it. If you want to get fancy, take the virtual tour here. Prepare yourself. There’s a whole lot of awesome in one building. The new location features (deep breath…) two 70’ and two 55’ baseball cages, two 70’ baseball throwing lanes, nine 55’ softball cages, an indoor 110’ x 110’ turfed professional field, a retail store, a friendly and knowledgeable staff who actually plays the game, and on-site training due to the acquisition of Maroon’s Baseball Training and Worden’s Softball Academy (now appropriately named Softball Fans Academy and Hardball Fans Academy).

Is this heaven? Nope. And before you ask, it’s not Iowa either. It’s Softball Fans - in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  And it’s where we still are today.

Our continued success caught the attention of Concourse Sports, so much so that in October 2014, Concourse Sports acquired Softball Fans. We now work as an even bigger team with more resources to keep making big things happen.

Looking back, we were just two guys with humble beginnings who weren’t afraid to dream big and work hard. Now we have the planet’s #1 online softball forum, a decked-out facility that features year-round training, and a jaw-dropping retail store - plus top-notch websites offering the best softball and baseball gear. We’ve truly become a destination for thousands of athletes and fans from all across the country. If you’re in the Kalamazoo area or up for a road trip, come see us at 3433 Midlink Drive. Otherwise, keep exploring our websites. I’m sure you’ll find something you like.

Who knows what the future holds? We just know our story will continue… and we would love for you to be a part of it.

Concourse Team Express takes your privacy seriously. Please read the following to learn more about our privacy policy.

What This Privacy Policy Covers

This privacy policy covers Concourse Team Express sites' (BaseballExpress.com, Softball.com, FootballAmerica.com, TeamExpress.com) treatment of personally identifiable information you submit to us when you enter into our web site and when you use Softball.com services. Be assured that your registration information is handled confidentially and privately and we will protect this information. Please note, however, that we may share your information with governmental agencies or other organizations assisting us in fraud prevention and investigation, and in instances where Softball.com's rights are threatened. We may do so when: (1) required by law; (2) trying to protect against or prevent actual or potential fraud or unauthorized transactions; (3) investigating fraud that has already taken place; or (4) protecting the rights of Softball.com. In addition, in the event of a merger or acquisition of Softball.com, the sale of substantially all of its assets related to the operation of this site, or other change of corporate control, information collected through this site may be transferred to or controlled by the surviving or successor entity.

We may use information concerning you, including personal information you provide to us, in order to contact you with offers and news concerning our products and services or those of our affiliated companies that we believe may be of interest to you. We also may share such information with our affiliated companies for use by them in order to contact you concerning offers and news that they believe may be of interest to you. You may opt-out of an email marketing list, if you so desire, by using the opt-out functionality and/or information found on any given marketing email, and you will be then be removed from that list in a relatively short period of time.

We use third party companies to help us provide our products and services to you. Some of these companies are given access to some, or all, of the information you provide to us and may use cookies on our behalf. These companies are contractually restricted from using your information in any manner, other than in helping us to provide you with the products and services available on our site.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects personally identifiable information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by our Web site.

Information We Store On Your Computer

In order to customize our sites to your needs and offer you personalized services, we use "cookies". A cookie is a small piece of data that most browsers accept and store on your computer's hard drive. We use cookies solely to let us know when you are visiting our site and to remember your past visits. Browsers are designed so that we cannot look at other sites' cookies and they cannot look at ours. If you configure your browser to not accept cookies, you can still visit Concourse Team Express sites and place orders online, but some of our helpful site enhancements may not work for you.

Web Site Security

All orders submitted through Concourse Team Express sites are encrypted using the latest 256 bit SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology. This protection means it may actually be safer for you to use your credit card over the Internet rather than using it in a store. When your browser is in secure mode, you should see an unbroken key or padlock icon near the bottom of your browser window.

Children's Information

We do not knowingly collect or solicit personal information from anyone under the age of 13 or knowingly allow such persons to register. If you are under 13, please do not send any information about yourself to us, including your name, address, telephone number, or email address. No one under age 13 is allowed to provide any personal information to us. In the event that we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13 without verification of parental consent, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that we might have any information from or about a child under 13, please contact us at Customer Service. We recommend that minors over the age of 13 ask their parents for permission before sending any information about themselves to anyone over the Internet.

Changes To This Privacy Policy

Concourse Team Express may amend this policy from time to time. If we make any material change to this privacy statement we will notify you by posting a prominent announcement on our home page; however, any personal information we receive will be treated in accordance with the privacy statement that is in effect a the time we receive such personal information. We encourage you to review this policy whenever you visit the site to make sure that you understand how any personal information you provide will be used.

All Concourse Team Express orders are processed by Team Express. All credit card purchases will show Team Express as the merchant on credit card billing statements. All order process customer service issues will be conducted by Team Express Customer Service Agents.

What You Can Do

If you feel that this site is not following its stated privacy policy, please contact us immediately.

Further Information About Your Privacy Rights