Wholesale Sporting Goods Brothers

maurice sporting goods on maxweel street in chicago2013 marks a very special year in the history of Maurice Sporting Goods. It was 90 years ago, in 1923 when Maurice Olshansky, after immigrating to America, founded our company.

Now a fourth generation business, Maurice may not have imagined that his pushcart and small storefront on Chicago’s Maxwell St. would have evolved into the sophisticated, high-tech sporting goods distributorship that it has become today.

As cliché as it sounds, this is the great American story - a story of resourcefulness, family, the value of relationships and ultimately – success.Chicago's Maxwell Street in the 1920's. Our family-owned history is further entwined with the family-owned vendor and chain store history of the U.S., and now, through four generations, our company’s character remains inseparable from the spirit of its founder.

Late 1910’s
Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, the turmoil and danger forced many people to leave the country for their own safety. Maurice Olshansky, at about the age of 19, and his brother set out across the mountains between the Ukraine and Romania at night. It was a very dangerous trek and at some point, the boys became separated, never to see one another again.Depression era recreational baseball game. Maurice managed to make it across Europe to a ship bound for America. He settled in Chicago and worked in a pickle factory for two years, saving every penny by walking to work and allowing no luxuries save for an éclair cut into pieces that lasted all week.

In those days many people eeked out a living by buying and selling various items at a small profit. Maurice had an interest in music and musical instruments and began buying and selling musical instruments on Maxwell Street in Chicago, and eventually began buying and selling sporting goods as well. He sold his products from a pushcart like many new Americans in Chicago did in those days.

CIRCA 1925
After meeting and marrying Mae, Maurice eventually opened a very small storefront on Chicago’s Maxwell Street. He started to sell musical instruments to various schools in the neighborhood and noticed that they wore uniforms. His wife Mae started to sew band uniforms which Maurice sold and that led to basketball uniforms, shorts and other kinds of uniforms for sports. Maurice saw that he could sell the schools sports equipment too and pretty soon he was in the sporting goods business, making more money in sporting goods than in the musical instrument business.

Casual image of Maurice Olshansky with his sons Melvin Olshansky and Harold Olshansky Frank Katlin with Chicago Bear Dick Butkus and Chicago Cub Ron Santo. Sears Roebuck & Company Purchase Order. Maurice Sporting Goods' Locations circa 1995
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One-of-a-kind items, gently used sporting goods, clothing, electronics and popular collectibles sell best, said Lynn Dralle, who runs TheQueenofAuctions.com, a site that helps people sell goods on eBay.

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