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Q. I remember playing baseball and basketball as a kid with J.C. Higgins equipment. I always wondered if J.C. Higgins was a real person. Was he?

A. As a matter of fact, he was. John Higgins began his career at Sears in 1898. He worked his way up the corporate ladder to take charge of the headquarters office bookkeepers before retiring in 1930. He died in 1950. During discussions of possible brand names for a new line of Sears sporting goods, Higgins’ name was proposed. He gave his consent and, because he had no middle name, the "C" was added for effect. As far as we can determine, the J.C. Higgins name first appeared on baseballs and gloves in the 1908 catalog.

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