Mitchell and Ness Story
01: ORIGINS - THE FIRST STITCH
In 1904, Frank Mitchell and Charles Ness set the future of authentic in motion when they met up in Philadelphia to establish Mitchell & Ness Sporting Goods. At first, they specialized in stringing tennis racquets, constructing custom-made golf clubs and making uniforms for local Philly baseball and football teams.
In 1933, the Mitchell & Ness label made their NFL debut when they started making uniforms for the Philadelphia Eagles, a partnership that would continue for 30 years. Not long after, in 1938, Mitchell & Ness entered professional baseball, producing uniforms for the Philadelphia Athletics, as well as outfitting the Phillies a few years later.
In 1985, Mitchell & Ness received a request that helped them pivot in a new direction. A customer inquired about making repairs to his game-worn 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates vest and his game-worn 1949 St. Louis Browns jersey. This sparked an idea that would change everything. Craft historically-accurate, vintage, authentic baseball jerseys and apparel. Hence, Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Co. was born.
Today, Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Co. offers authentic vintage jerseys and apparel collections for the MLB, NFL, NBA, NCAA and MLS.
Authentic. Premium. Legendary.
1904 - Take the Street
In 1904, former tennis and wrestling champ, Frank P. Mitchell partners with Scottish golfer Charles M. Ness to form a sporting goods store on Arch Street in Philadelphia, PA. Mitchell & Ness sporting goods specialized in handcrafted tennis racquets, golf clubs and other equipment.
1917 - Meet the Clerk
In 1917, a teenage boy named Sisto Capolino travels from Italy to Philadelphia in need of work. At age 13, he begins working as a store clerk, sweeping floors, cleaning up and living above the Mitchell & Ness store. Along the way he learns English and becomes an apprentice.
1925-1933 - Make the Pros
By 1925, Mitchell & Ness begins designing and manufacturing uniforms for high school, college and semi pro teams in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. In 1933, the company goes pro when the newly formed Philadelphia Eagles employ Mitchell & Ness as their official on-field outfitter.
1938-1955 - Own The Shop
Mitchell & Ness’ success and reputation grows as the business expands to include two local Major League Baseball clubs, the Philadelphia Athletics and the Philadelphia Phillies. Sisto goes from shopkeeper to shop owner. And the Eagles begin to sport Mitchell & Ness apparel both on and off the field in fashionable new sweaters and jackets.
1983 - Roll the Wool
In 1983, a man walks into Mitchell & Ness to have two game-worn baseball jerseys repaired. In attempting to do so, Peter discovers thousands of yards of discarded wool flannel, which inspires him to recreate vintage jerseys.
1987-1988 - Get the Numbers
On July 6, 1987, Sports Illustrated features Mitchell & Ness in the article “Baseball Flannels are Hot.” The article chronicles the growing popularity of sportswear as fashion, as well as Peter’s research methods. In 1988, Major League Baseball creates the Authentic Collection license, giving Mitchell & Ness exclusive rights to make player number jerseys.
1998-2000 - Expand the Leagues
The jerseys become increasingly popular among entertainers and athletes, making frequent appearances in music videos and magazines. After the widespread success of the Cooperstown Collection, the NBA, NFL and NHL grant Mitchell & Ness licenses.
2005-Present - Lead the Pack
While trends come and go, Mitchell & Ness jerseys remain popular among sports’ greatest enthusiast: the true fan. In 2005, after the numerous requests from collectors, Mitchell & Ness acquires its most recent license, the CLC college Vault label. A year later, Mitchell & Ness is granted the exclusive rights to reproduce Authentic Michael Jordan jerseys. By 2007, Mitchell & Ness is producing headwear for the NBA, NFL, NHL and NCAA. Today the category continues to prosper within the assortment, and in some ways has become more synonymous with Mitchell & Ness than any of the brands other product lines.