Rawlings Experience at Westport Plaza offers fans a closer look at a baseball institution

Rawlings has been a baseball—and St. Louis—institution since its founding in 1887. Now, the renowned equipment manufacturer is hoping to reach more fans with its multi-level experiential storefront in Westport Plaza (462 Westport Plaza Drive). The Rawlings Experience opened Friday alongside the company’s new corporate headquarters in Maryland Heights, offering attractions like the Rawlings Gold Glove Vault, baseball artifacts, and a retail space full of baseball and softball gear for players of all ages and skill levels. Here’s what to know before you go.


From little league to the big leagues, Rawlings has been synonymous with high-level performance on the diamond for well over a century. The company produces Major League Baseball’s official ball, bases, and helmets, and the top fielders in both the American and National Leagues are annually awarded with the coveted Rawlings Gold Glove Award. But while the company has deep roots in the game, its presence in St. Louis has been less obvious.

“We’ve been in St. Louis since 1887, and just relocated from Town & Country to Maryland Heights,” says Eric Reinsfelder, vice president of brand and sports marketing. “We want to be known as a St. Louis company, but a lot of people don’t know we’re here. Rawlings is a baseball company and St. Louis is a baseball town. We should be more visible.”

The Rawlings Experience is part of the solution. In addition to offering retail space, the company has created a touchpoint for baseball fans to explore Rawlings’ contributions to the game. Spanning 14,000 square feet across two levels, the Rawlings Experience is a way for guests to interact with baseball artifacts, learn about the prestigious Gold Glove and past winners, and get an up-close look at what goes into making Rawlings products, including gloves, bats, protective gear, and other baseball and softball apparel.

“It’s a way for us to give back to fans and create a flagship experience for the brand,” Reinsfelder says.

What to expect

Before stepping foot inside the Rawlings Experience, you’ll see it: a giant, gold replica of the MLB ball that measures 8 feet in diameter. Hanging just above it is the iconic red Rawlings patch found on each of the company’s signature gloves. The ball is only one of a handful of Instagram-ready photo opportunities found inside and outside the space, including an enormous statue-sized version of the Gold Glove Award.

The Gold Glove Vault is another highlight of the Rawlings Experience, offering visitors a history of the award, as well as an opportunity to see the actual trophies earned by some of the best players in history. Guests will also find gear that once belonged to players such as Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, and other legends of the game.

“The Rawlings Gold Glove Award was established in 1957 to honor defensive excellence, and the Gold Glove Vault pays tribute to all those that have won since that time,” Reinsfelder says. “There are 15 Rawlings Gold Glove hall-of-famers that have their own locker with their memorabilia inside of it. There’s also a custom glove bar where you can design a glove like a pro.”

Take, for instance, Cardinals third baseman—and 10-time Gold Glove winner—Nolan Arenado. Ever wondered what it would feel like to wear Arenado’s glove? At the Rawlings Experience, you can try on a version of Arenado’s mitt that’s built exactly to his specifications.

Rawlings hasn’t forgotten softball, either. The store features plenty of gear for softball players, too. And in the coming months, the Rawlings Experience will feature a large outdoor screen that will be the centerpiece of watch parties and movie nights.

“This is something that we’re excited to provide for folks in St. Louis, as well as people that may be traveling to St. Louis, for generations to come,” Reinsfelder says.

April 12, 2024

4:15 PM

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