Nolan Begley
A Passion for Hockey Fashion

Thomas McCole (right) with his business partner Jake Mednick

Thomas McCole and his men’s league hockey buddies were excited about the hiring of Mike Babcock as the Toronto Maple Leafs’ new Head Coach.  In May 2015, Babcock was the talk of the town, and McCole and his friends were eager to jump in on the conversation. But what started as a simple joke between McCole and his teammates would soon become a worldwide hit.

Babsocks – a play on Babcock’s name – have become high fashion around Leafs Nation. Sporting a cartoonish mug of Babcock, the socks have quickly become a locker room joke turned successful business venture, with McCole and his business partner scoring deals with big name retailers.

Growing his business quickly in a short period of time, McCole credits much his success to the competitive nature he developed while playing minor hockey for the Goulding Park Rangers, followed by the North York Rangers a few years later.

Tommy McCole (top row, second from the left) with his North York Rangers team.
Tommy McCole (top row, second from the left) with his North York Rangers team.

“As a hockey player, if you don’t have the competitive edge, you won’t succeed,” said McCole. “Whether you’re battling for loose pucks, or trying to win someone’s business – you need to show that you have the desire to be the best.”

The dedication of McCole has not only caught the attention of retailers, but also of Babcock himself. The Leafs coach has been seen sporting the socks alongside family members, joking that if you pull them high enough the mean mug will actually turns into a smile.

“People can sense commitment, good work ethic, and team spirit, all of which I developed growing up in the GTHL,” said McCole.

Despite all the recognition, McCole knows this is just the beginning – already searching for new ways to grow. His passion for his business is something he feels all minor hockey players could learn from.

“Find something you’re passionate about and pursue it. When you’re chasing that goal, you’ll be amazed at the network you will connect with and the amount of people that will be there to help you out every step of the way.”

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