Starting from the Bottom – Celebrating 20 Years of On Deck Sports
April 2021 marks the 20th Anniversary of On Deck Sports!
Rooted in our ProMounds Portable Pitching Mounds construction, On Deck Sports has turned into a one-stop-shop for all baseball/softball needs including everything from training aids and batting cages to artificial turf and field maintenance.
To celebrate, we’re taking a look back over the years with Owner/President, Joe Murphy. Keep scrolling to find out a little more about Joe Murphy and how On Deck Sports has come to be a baseball/softball industry leader.
Tell us a little about your baseball background?
JM: I started playing when I was about four or five years old – I really liked to throw things so my dad introduced me to the sport. I grew up in Easton and played high school baseball at Xaverian Brothers High School. After graduating, I went on to play baseball at the University of Rhode Island (URI) where I was a catcher.
What is your greatest achievement or favorite memory playing baseball?
JM: I hit a home run in my last at-bat in college which was really awesome. That year, we also went from a 1-41 record the previous year to a 24-25 record.
What was your major? Where did it take you?
JM: I majored in Elementary Education and Sociology. After college, I taught for about 7 years, mostly 6th grade in Stoughton, MA. I was also coaching baseball at Westwood High School.
How did you get into making baseball/softball equipment?
JM: It all started with our ProMounds Pitching Mounds. While I was coaching at Westwood High School, we needed to create a mound during the winter when we were practicing inside the school’s gym. We had put together a mound made of wood, but the school’s Athletic Director would not allow us to use it for fear it would scuff up the gym floor. He said we needed to find a new way and I fully accepted the challenge.
Once we had our final mound product made (with lightweight, dense foam) and were using it, the surrounding schools in the area started expressing interest as well. That’s when I realized there could be a greater opportunity with this.
What did the business look like when you first started making and selling ProMounds Pitching Mounds?
JM: It was just me, my parents, and a few other family members helping out. Our first office was my parent’s house in Easton.
How did you come up with the name ‘ProMounds’ for the pitching mound line?
JM: It was actually my 6th-grade students who named it. We had a few options and I let them all vote on their favorite. ProMounds won.
Why did you start expanding your offering beyond pitching mounds?
JM: I had a good customer base built from the mounds, and people would often say ‘the mounds are really durable we don’t need anymore but we do need other equipment.’ After saying no a few times, I finally started saying yes and expanded my offering to include training aids, field equipment, turf, netting, and more.
How did you get into indoor sports facility design?
JM: It is such a niche thing that no one else was really doing and my loyal mound customers helped me realize that opportunity. In fact, it all started with one customer who asked to get the same turf on our ProMounds pitching mounds for the flooring of his facility.
What are you most proud of regarding the company?
JM: The dedication and hard work from the employees throughout the years. I’m so happy to be around capable and passionate people. And many customers notice that, too, which is incredible.
What are your hopes for the future of the company?
JM: To continue being an industry leader and keep growing, learning, and building.
How do you spend your time away from On Deck Sports?
JM: With my family – my four boys and my wife. I coach baseball and watch my kids play. I also like to golf.
What is your favorite motivational quote?
JM: “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If it isn’t you will find an excuse”
On Deck Sports is very proud to be in business since 2001. We’d like to thank all our customers for trusting and choosing us over the years! We aim to continue helping coaches coach for another 20 years and beyond.