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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 8 months ago

Legacy baseball sets up shop for apparel fundraiser

Legacy Charter’s gym will be filled with sports gear 70% to 90% off retail from Thursday, Nov. 7, to Saturday, Nov. 9.
by: Troy Herring Sports Editor

Sports fans know how expensive just being a sports fan can be — especially when it comes to team merchandise.

A fan can drop at least $20 on a hat or $30 on a shirt, and if he or she wants more, the wallet empties quickly. It’s a pricey endeavor, but it’s one a true sports fans deal accepts.

Luckily, fans in West Orange will be getting a significant reprieve this week thanks to Legacy Charter baseball coach Jack Chambless. The school will hosts its annual sports apparel sale from Thursday, Nov. 7, to Saturday, Nov. 9. The sale will offer a smorgasbord of sports gear from Adidas-affiliated teams and run the gamut of leagues, from college teams — such as NC State, Miami and Kansas — to professional teams in every professional league (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS).

“This is the fifth year that we are doing it for the Legacy baseball program,” Chambless said. “These donated items are sold to raise money to pay for field rentals, umpires, equipment, baseballs and miscellaneous gear that we have to have. It costs thousands of dollars a year, and we don’t receive funding like the public schools do, so all of the money that we raise for the sale helps pay for the needs of the baseball program.” 

Along with all the Adidas merchandise, there also will be a few non-Adidas items. Chambless ventured out in search of discounted Florida State and University of Florida gear that could be sold — offering options for ‘Noles and Gators fans. There also will be gear from Reebok, Mitchell & Ness, Fanatics and CCM on sale.

Shoppers will enjoy deep discounts. Adult-sized short-sleeved shirts and hats will be $3 apiece, shorts/pants will cost $5, and quarter-zip pullovers $10. And the discounts only get better on Saturday, Chambless said.

“On Saturday from 2 o’clock to 5 o’clock, everything in the gym will be half off,” Chambless said. “So the prices are already 40% lower than what they were last year, and it’s going to be another 50% off of that.”

The reason behind the additional sale goes back to how the sale itself is made possible.

All the gear sold during the annual sale is donated by a representative from Adidas, whom Chambless befriended 12 years ago. Back then, the rep was donating a ton of sample items — high-quality merchandise used by reps to showcase new Adidas gear — to a gymnastics organization in Oviedo so it could raise money. Chambless learned of the arrangement from a woman he met at the RDV Sportsplex Athletic Club — where his children were playing hockey at the time.

“The first time I went, it was like Christmas — it was just amazing,” Chambless said. “Then in the next two years, I went to it and started helping them set up at this gym.

“Seven years ago, the owner of the gym decided he didn’t want to do this anymore, so I asked the Adidas rep if I could run the sale,” he said. “We did it for a local church and for CFCA’s baseball team for a couple of years, then when I moved over to Legacy I started doing it for Legacy.”

Chambless said the first few years of the event raised between $15,000 to $20,000, but with prices on items being so low, it now requires a lot of volume to make money. After expenses — moving trucks, advertising, shopping bags and so on — the sale usually nets an average of $4,000 a year.

By and large, the sale is ultimately about raising money for the baseball program, but that doesn’t mean it’s not without other perks, Chambless said.

Seeing the happy faces of folks who stop by and find a shirt or hat featuring their favorite sports teams is something he enjoys the most, Chambless said.

“When a little kid comes up and they’ve got some little stocking-stuffer from the 50 cents table, or they have a hat that they’ve found … when you see them with the one thing that they found that they’re excited about, and you see them wearing it on their way out of the door, it is really super fun,” Chambless said.

Troy Herring is the sports editor at the West Orange Times and Windermere Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Mount Olive (BS '12) and the University of Alabama (MA '16)....

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