Winter Park native, former baseball pro sees business boom through pandemic

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Randall Thompson’s baseball dream got him through high school, college, and even into the minor leagues. 

That dream stopped short of the majors, but it’s playing out for Thompson every day now at the Dugout Mugs factory in Winter Haven. 

“Drilling out the center of a baseball bat barrel just seemed simple I started pursuing it, and in about a year, had my first small order for 100 mugs,” Thompson explained. 

The idea for what became a multi-million-dollar business came to Thompson after his playing career was over and he was pursuing a coaching career at his Alma Mater, Florida Tech. 

“There were just a bunch of barrels sitting in the dugout and I thought to myself that you could drill the top of it out and turn it into a drinking mug.”

After just a few years, Thompson’s business saw exponential growth that continues today, even as the COVID-19 outbreak forces others to make cuts.

“We’ve been fortunate enough that we’ve hired during the pandemic times,” Thompson said.

Now, Thompson wants to use his good fortune as a point of motivation for the minor league baseball players around the country who have lost their opportunity at a season to the pandemic.

“You have the opportunity to create your own big leagues and that’s kind of what I’ve viewed dugout mugs as.”