The breakthrough for Franklin and the batting gloves came when Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt and Irving Franklin teamed up to create the basic design that is still the preferred glove of most major league hitters. Irving Franklin went to Clearwater, Florida, to meet with Schmidt during spring training in 1983. Together, they worked tirelessly to make sure that the materials and design were perfected, so collaboratively the two were the first authors. At that time, most players wore no gloves. A few wore a single golf style glove, but no company offered a product specifically designed for the needs of professional players. Franklin today is the industry leader as the premier batting glove company, and custom fits batting gloves for MLB® players.
In 1982, when Franklin signed Mike Schmidt, Irving Franklin asked: “How can I get the name Franklin on field at the Major League level?”, Schmidt suggested putting the name on the back to maximize exposure, and then helped to design the glove for lasting success at the Major League level.