By Gigi Tinsley
Times Staff Writer
Last month in Monroeville,
Penn., Ronald Paramore, inventor, designer and president of Paramore Collection Inc.,
stirred excitement at the Inpex XIII when he unveiled his latest invention, a female
The invention came in the midst of reports that Melissa Raglin, a
12-year-old of Boca Raton, had been forced to sit behind second plate for two years
because she wore no cup.
|Girl catcher, wearing female cup, is back behind the
By Ean Smith
West Side - Gazette Sports
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - A little rusty and a lot nervous, 12-year-old Melissa Raglin crouched behind home plate for the first time in a week to play ball in the job she knows best.
After a weeklong exile to the outfield for refusing to put on the protective gear that boys have to wear, she suited up Thursday evening with a female cup shipped by overnight mail - and just in time.
Melissa Raglin, 12, wearing her new female jock strap and cup, catches during the third inning of her team's playoff game in Boca Raton, Fla., Thursday, May 22, 1997. After receiving the equipment via overnight mail, Melissa ended her weeklong exile to the outfield on Thursday night and took her position behind the plate. Her baseball youth league had banned her from catching after she refused to put on the protective gear the boys have to wear. (AP Photo/Gary I. Rothstein)
Melissa went back to work as catcher and helped her Dodgers to a 7-6 playoff victory over the Mariners, a contest that had TV cameras trained on her and more reporters than parents watching.
``It made me really nervous having all this excitement.'' Melissa said afterward. ``I was a little rusty out there.''
Melissa was thrust into the national spotlight after an umpire in the Boca Raton Youth League told her that to play catcher, she would have to wear the cup, a hard piece of plastic designed to protect the testicles.
She refused and was sent to play center field, touching off a furor that landed the National Organization for Women and conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh on the same side, ridiculing the rules.
She preferred to talk baseball, and not about the cup.
``It's not really comfortable, but it's the most comfortable one I found,'' she said. ``But I don't think about it - I just want to play with my team.''
The league says girls can suffer groin injuries and must play by the rules. Girls have been playing in the league since the 1950s. But coaches and parents knew nothing about the rule until an umpire decided to enforce it during a game May 15.
Melissa got to choose from several offerings. She decided on our product over all the other samples she tried.
Her coach, Dan Solomon, marveled at the cup controversy.
``We're part of Jay Leno's monologue, so it's reached a level of unbelievability,'' he said.
|Miami man invents female jockstrap.
By Ean Smith
Side - Gazette Sports
Paramore, inventor, designer and president of Paramore Athletic Collections Inc., has
turned the sporting world on its ear with the invention of the female jockstrap.
invention came in the midst of reports three years ago when Melissa Raglin, a
12-year-old from Boca Raton, was forced to sit behind second base for two years
because she didnt wear a boys protective cup.
the inventor of the worlds first female jockstrap, Paramore said. We
also invented the pelvic protector for women, thats for women that are active in
sports like football, soccer, volleyball and baseball. Youve got women in boxing and
we also have a vaginal protector for women that participate in gymnastics, bike riding and
by a variety of high schools, womens professional basketball teams, doctors, coaches
and female athletes, Paramores inventions has caught attention of those involved in
the Women Professional Football League (WPFL) as he stood on the sidelines watching the
All-Star game at the Orange Bowl this past weekend. Former Chicago Bull Craig Hodges, who
currently coaches a girls basketball team, sent a letter of endorsement to Paramore.
a need for this product and we need to support women in sports because they are moving up,
Im here tonight supporting WPFL, Paramore said. We got a Miami team so I
might be interested in owning a team God, has really been blessing us, we even have
minority businesses backing us up.
Paramore, Vice President of Paramore Inc., and Ronalds twin brother said it was a
blessing having their product endorsed by so many different people.
just been a great feeling being able to support the WPFL, and I just thank God for this
opportunity, Rodney Paramore said. Im just happy that were out
here supporting the football league, there is also a need for investors to back us
he raised him up, and I praise God that he gave him a mind to be an inventor and he gave
him the invention, said Benjamin Paramore Jr. Rodney and Ronalds father.
Im backing him financially and spiritually in the name of the Lord.
"We are very excited and, from all the inquiries and responses from those who have tried it out, we can hardly wait until it is in the stores. The jock's going to come in a lot of colors. Ladies like colors." said Paramore, beaming from under his trademark black derby hat
Patrick A. Burns, 1996 Women's Olympic boxing coach, sent him an endorsement letter. "Several female boxers at Gerrit's Leprechaun Boxing Gym have trained with the female jockstrap on and expressed that it feels like you have nothing on," said Burns. "My thoughts about the female jockstrap is that it is a great idea and it will be a phenomenon in the sports and fitness industry."
Along with the female jockstrap Paramore has future plans to invent more womens protective gear, such as the pelvic and vaginal protectors. Paramore also discussed his plans of creating a flag for black history month that would represent the colors of Africa.
We named it the athletic female supporter, because that sounds better. A lot of women dont like to be called a jock or anything like that, mainly because a jock comes from being a male, Paramore said. It is patented as a female jockstrap, but the marketing name is female athletic supporter.
Miami inventor Ronald
Paramore had a heavenly
vision about women's
underclothes, and it wasn't
courtesy of the Victoria's
Secret angels. "This came in a
dream," Paramore says of his
recently patented creation.
had been working construction
when he lost his job. "I got
laid off, right around
Christmas. I came home and cried
and fell asleep and then I had a
dream," he recalls. In the
dream, God told Paramore to
draw, and he received a vision
of what is now his trademark, a
derby hat over a smiling face.
Then the deity revealed that
women needed protection; not
protection, but practical
injury-proofing from sport
injuries, just like men have.
When Paramore awoke, he
immediately sketched the design
for the world's first female
don't question God," Paramore
known for smiling through it
all," he adds. The Bitch
couldn't help but smile herself
when she met the sharply dressed
Paramore, sporting a derby and a
matching ivory shirt and suit
ensemble, who whipped out
blueprints for the design of the
basic jockstrap and the
protective cup that is attached
to the strap with Velcro.
Right now Paramore is working
full-time as a painter until he
can find financial backing for
his invention. He pulled out a
binder to show The Bitch photos
and letters from celebrities who
endorse the product. "Robin
Givens endorses the product.
Dr. Dre loves it,"
Paramore notes as he flips a few
more pages to the lyrics to a
song he wrote for Da Brat
about the female jockstrap.
"Everybody talks good game, but
we can't get the seed money to
get the product out there," he
says. "People are calling me,
but they are just doing this --"
Paramore shakes his head while
motions with his hand.
apparatus was recently thrust
into the spotlight on the
resurrected game show To Tell
the Truth hosted by John
O'Hurley, who is most
recognized from his role as
J. Peterman on Seinfeld.
The producer of the show,
Spencer Stephens, called one
day. "He just heard on the
street about the female
jockstrap," says Paramore, who
went on the show with his twin
brother Rodney, who is
also a bit of a tinkerer.
Kermit the Frog was a guest
panelist alongside Paula
Taylor, and Traci Bingham.
Only Taylor guessed correctly
the Paramores were the
inventors. "I guess the others
didn't think a couple of
brothers could invent something
like this," he smirks.
Paramore then traveled to New
York to meet with one potential
investor: "I even brought him a
mango -- 'cause he wanted a
mango from Miami -- and then he
messed around and took some of
my products and I never heard
invention does have an
endorsement, if not an
investment, from a woman athlete
who has tested it under extreme
conditions. Tennis coach and
former WTA pro player Kim
Sands says, "The female
jockstrap gives the complete
freedom and comfort to run,
jump, and hit with the greatest
of ease. How do I know? Well, I
was born to play sports at the
Paramore says he has thus far
manufactured about 50 of the
jockstraps, which he expects
will retail for about fifteen
dollars, but is waiting for an
increase in cash flow so he can
pay a professional seamstress to
crank out more
February 24, 2005
Miami New Times