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Nutty Buddy Inventor

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Mark LIttell

Professional baseball player and coach for more than 30 years, inventor of the NuttyBuddy® patented, premier athletic protective cup.

Mark Littell was born and raised in the small town of Gideon, Missouri. In 1971, fresh out of high school, Mark signed with the Kansas City Royals. Mark pitched in the Major Leagues from 1973-1982 for the Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals. It was while with Cardinals in 1982 that he received his World Series ring.

After retiring from Major League play Mark began coaching. He was Coach-In-Residence for Australia's Bi-Centennial, the San Diego Padres, and the Milwaukee Brewer's. He was also the Coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his beloved Kansas City Royals. As a coach, Mark’s mission was to help players hone their skills and play their best. Mark was fulfilling his mission, however, he knew he could do more.

His entrepreneurial side took over when he learned that nearly 50% of his athletes refused to wear athletic cups leaving them vulnerable to injury. His athletes complained that cups were uncomfortable or restrictive. Starting with a blank sheet of paper, he worked with Industrial Designers Don Herring and Dosun Shin to invent The NuttyBuddy® a patented, premier athletic protective cup. 

The NuttyBuddy protective athletic cup is unlike any other. Its award-winning, patented design is anatomically shaped to conform to the male body, providing never-seen-before levels of comfort and protection. He considers this a true tribute to the sport he loves.

The NuttyBuddy company has been created to be a tribute to athletes of all sports.

As Mark Littell says, “It’s all about… protecting the boys.”



Don Herring

Clinical Associate Professor Industrial Design, Arizona State University, project head, tech support, and consultant on testing forThe NuttyBuddy®, patented, premier athletic protective cup.

Don received his BA degree from The American University and his BS and MSD from Arizona State University. 

His research involves the design of upper extremity prosthetics for economically disadvantaged rural areas around the world. Along with professor Gary Yamaguchi, Department of Bioengineering, he wrote a joint proposal to determine the providers of prosthetic arms and wheel chairs versus where the recipients are for these devices, globally. The project was funded through the Herberger Center, for a CAED Seed Grant entitled A Global Network for Assistive Devices and Rehabilitation Design.  

In January 2001, he began working on the design of the human interface components for a pneumatic muscle to be used in stroke rehabilitation by an adjunct faculty investigator and on a proposal for wheelchair and electric scooter tie down devices for commercial bus applications.


Dosun Shin

Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at the School of Design, Arizona State University, designer of The NuttyBuddy®, patented, premier athletic protective cup.

Dosun received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design from Keimyung University, South Korea in February of 1999, and his Master of Fine Arts degree in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in August 2003. He has been an industrial designer since 1999 and has worked for EN.S Design, South Korea, HON Technologies, Hearth and Home, Insight Product Development, and Fire Stone Home Products. He is currently serving as a design consultant in the areas of medical equipment and outdoor products. One of his designs for an electric barbeque grill won the Vesta award from the HPBA show held in California in the spring of 2004 as the best new outdoor product using alternative fuel. 

The research Professor Shin has undertaken at Arizona State University is informed by his professional experience and expertise in the area of product design and development. His research interests center around the “humanization of technology,” with a specific focus on assistive devices for people with physical limitations. He is currently working on projects with Professor Donald Herring and a local corporation Kinetic Muscle Inc. (KMI) to design products using “air muscle technology” to assist users with muscular-dystrophy. 

The NuttyBuddy® patented, premier athletic protective cup won an international design award in 2006 from the IDSA (Industrial Design Society of America). The product has been featured in The ISDA 2006 Year Book of Design, Business Week Magazine, and ESPN Magazine among others.

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