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The Kentucky Shop gets fans dressed for baseball success in Omaha

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 13, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Some dedicated Kentucky Wildcat fans have been following the baseball team for years. Other fans started watching more recently.

One of these fans, Rick Paynter, the owner of The Kentucky Shop, falls into the second category. Payner admitted he was late to the game.

“I started paying attention when they were gaining momentum a couple of months back,” Payner said. “I mean it’s just, it’s taken off, and the city has gone wild for them.”

The city – and the state – already deeply bleed blue. But the fun personalities on this year’s team have only helped Kentuckians who are less familiar with baseball to connect with the players.

Paynter said, “That’s what the baseball team has done a really great job, is just, rallying the fans behind them in a way that engages and creates a fun way for them to celebrate.”

The Kentucky Shop knows celebration well. Paynter doubles as a designer as well as a shop owner. On top of that, he owns a printing press just next door. This allows him to come up with shirts to sell quickly after a moment or event happens.

“That’s kind of what we’re known for over the years. We’ve done this a lot of times, whenever there’s some kind of huge event that happens here in Kentucky,” Paynter said. “It kind of makes it fun for people to experience that event and celebrate that Kentucky moment right then and there.”

The latest Kentucky moment? A passionate fanbase looking to support their baseball team in the College World Series.

To get ready for this weekend’s game, you might not be able to grow out a Nick Lopez mustache, and the pink bucket hats from Amazon might not arrive in time. That’s why Paynter decided to put his skills to work, creating a couple of baseball shirts.

“Like I said, everybody's going wild for them. They just want to get behind the Cats, so we'll keep printing as quick as we can and get them out before the game.”

When Paynter woke up Monday morning, he made the designs for the shirts. By noon, the shirts hit the shelves, both online and in the retail store.

“To be able to give fans a something that is a little bit different, a little bit off the beaten path of the logos and the other things that they wear, it’s kind of fun.”

Throughout the day, customers browsed the baseball selection to prepare for the weekend. A few shoppers even shared their plans of heading for Omaha. For Paynter, it’s all about taking time to celebrate these Kentucky moments with the Big Blue family.

“I’m the designer, I’m the owner, and I get to go to the stadium and root on the Cats next to people wearing my shirts, there’s no better feeling on Earth.”

The Kentucky Shop retail store is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. You can find the online shop here.