Happy 2015 to you and, should you be the possessive type, yours. The first post of this calendar year, which you are reading now, shall be nothing less and nothing more than a good old fashioned bouillabaisse. A bewildering array of interesting tidbits are offered therein, and the only thing these tidbits have in common with one another is — you guessed it — Minor League Baseball.
Let’s start with a hot-off-the-virtual-presses promo that was announced today by the Kane County Cougars. The team is currently staging a “Social Media Virtual Championship Ring Unveiling,” which I believe just might be the first such thing of its kind.
Do not adjust your set:
Beginning [January 5], the Cougars will post a blurred image of the ring design on their social media channels and fans, through a pre-determined quantity of Facebook ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ as well as Twitter re-tweets and ‘likes’ on Instagram, will help virtually “unveil” the ring design, which will be released in its entirety to the public this Friday.
This reminds me of a long-gestating but little-acted-upon article idea I have had: What Minor League teams have the best championship rings? If you think the team that you follow (or work for) might qualify for such a distinction, then please get in touch.
The holidays may be over, but the Holiday League goes on. I am speaking, of course, of the as-of-now theoretical league created by logo designer John Hartwell (of the eponymous Hartwell Studio Works). Last month, the 2014 North Pole Reindeer baseball card set was unveiled, featuring the starting line-up of the North Pole Reindeer. A lot of work has gone into these; each card features an full color front and back, and every Reindeer has his own Baseball-Reference page.
The North Pole Reindeer open the 2015 Holiday League season on April 9 against the Arborville Huggers.
Every year, Minor League teams vie for the coveted honor of “alternate logo most likely to inspire scores of Space Jam references on Twitter.” In 2015, it looks like this distinction will be going to the Rome Braves.
The R-Braves maintain that their inspiration for the logo came from a far weightier source:
The logo features a Roman soldier’s helmet on a baseball with the letter ”R” on the front. The helmet was used by the military of ancient Rome from 753 BC – AD 476 and pays tribute to the name of our hometown of Rome, GA with a red, blue, and gray color scheme.
Did you know? A new Minor League mascot-themed children’s book has been released, and this book features a “very special guest appearance by Darryl Strawberry.” What more could you ask for as regards literary material for beginning readers?
Finally, what do these four disconnected images all have in common?
Yep, you guessed it: They are all proud winners of the first-annual “Bizzie Awards,” created and then (virtually) distributed by me at the end of last month. Everyone else seems to be giving out awards at the end of the year, so why can’t I?
February 14 is a day when most people are either pitching woo or lamenting the absence of woo while listening to Wu-Tang Clan songs that sample John Woo movies. I, meanwhile, devoted a chunk of my always productive and multi-faceted work day to a blog past entitled “The Marking of Momentous Milestones.” It dealt with anniversary logos.
Soon after the publication of said post, I was alerted to the existence of several more anniversary logos. So, in the interest of fairness as well as professional stagnation, today’s post will be devoted to EVEN MORE ANNIVERSARY LOGOS. (Sorry, it’s just that many of these logos are a lock to be on caps.)
Let’s start with the Round Rock Express, who are celebrating their Quinceanera.
Meanwhile, the Richmond Flying Squirrels are entering their fifth campaign. If you don’t believe me, just look at this:
While it’s true that you can’t spell Quinceanera without “Erie,” the SeaWolves are even older than that. Read all about their 20th anniversary plans HERE.
Five plus 20 equals 25, which is the number of seasons in which Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s International League franchise has been operational.
The RailRiders will be celebrating this anniversary throughout the season, including wearing a theme jersey that incorporates their three distinct identities (Red Barons, Yankees, RailRiders) into one coherent (?) whole.
Yes, I’ve jumped from a 15th anniversary to a fifth anniversary to a 20th anniversary to a 25th anniversary. But there was a pattern to the order in which I shared the above logos, and it wasn’t numerically related. Anyone have any guesses?
Meanwhile, I’m barely more than half-way through my self-imposed blog post word minimum, so let’s keep this train rolling.
Also in (relatively) recent logo news, the Bristol Pirates have unveiled their look for 2014 and beyond (this marks Bristol’s first year as Pittsburgh’s rookie-level affiliate, hence the new look). Check it out, via this series of moving images:
The Harrisburg Senators have unveiled a new batting practice cap, which honors the insects that used to rain down upon fans during night games at City Island.
From the team:
Mayflies, obviously huge fans of the team, have been known to hang out around Metro Bank Park, home of the Harrisburg Senators, on humid summer nights. These harmless little bugs are hatched near the banks of the Susquehanna River. The mayfly has a short lifespan and is fond of the bright lights of the ballpark. They can often be seen near the stadium light poles around 9:00 p.m. on a game night during the summer months.
I am done writing this blog post.
Kannapolis is home to the Intimidators, a South Atlantic League club named after the late Dale Earnhardt. A Kannapolis native and NASCAR legend who once owned a minority stake in the team, Earnhardt was nicknamed “The Intimidator” in recognition of his aggressive tendencies behind the wheel.
Players will only sport the logo during what the team refers to as “Dale Earnhardt-related occasions”. But given Earnhardt’s legendary status among NASCAR’s huge legion of fans, this is a mark that should resonate far outside of the local market.
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“In looking over ways to continue to enhance our partnership
with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, we thought this
new alternate logo was a fitting tribute,” said Intimidators general manager Randy Long in the press release.
Here, Earnhardt’s son Kerry (himself a race car driver) models the new look:
The team also announced an additional alternate logo, which is like Cyclops and the first Super Bowl in that it consists of one “I”:
Unlike every other Minor League logo unveiled this offseason, the Intimidators’ new marks were not designed by either Plan B Branding or Studio Simon (finally!). They were the work of Phire Branding, an Ann Arbor-based company that has previously designed Earnhardt’s website and NASCAR Hall of Fame logos.
But lest we forget, the Intimidators primary logo isn’t going anywhere.
And for good reason! This logo is a perennial winner in the “Angriest Letter” category at the annual “Anthropomorphic Awards” (held in my living room each January). It might look a little like a high-heel shoe, but it is a high heel shoe that can and will destroy you. Show some respect.