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Star Rookie

Most Little Leaguers dream of playing in the pros. Greg Eisen, 27, makes them feel as if they already are. Last year, his Bethel (Conn.) company, Sportography, photographed more than 100,000 kids on 8,400 youth sports teams, splashing their images on trading cards, mock-magazine covers, even mouse pads--just like their big-league heroes. "We provide memories," says Eisen. "That's a tremendous feeling."

Eisen got a job with Sportography in 1989, while still in high school. The company was two years old and had just one employee. But like the kids he photographed, Eisen had big dreams; he wanted to become "the Wal-Mart" of youth sports photography. In 1996, he took his savings, borrowed money from family, and bought a partnership in the business. An energetic salesman, Eisen doubled revenues within a year. Already bigger than nearly all competitors, he aims to expand the company's three branches to seven, including Boston, Cleveland, and Detroit. In 41/2 years, he has increased Sportography's revenues tenfold, to about $3 million--a grand slam by any measure. By Kimberly Weisul

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