Frederick DeBeer

A pioneer of baseball and softball manufacturing since 1889. Developed much of the equipment used throughout the industry today. He is famous in our community due to his development of the trademark of the game the “Clincher” softball. Softballs were stitched on the outside and rarely did they stand up to the gravel playgrounds of Chicago. The development of the bigger ball allowed people with little money to enjoy the sport longer and without a glove. He patented a covered stitch that allowed the 16” ball to last longer in 1934. The ball known as the “Clincher” would become a household name and the ball of choice for over 60 years in Chicago and New York. His son Fritz perfected and marketed the ball, Grandson Jim Muhlfelder continues the tradition today. Frederick was active in the business until his death at 95 in 1986. Born in Johnstown, N.Y., and attended Yale and Union College. Since Deceased.