Major League Baseball Advanced Media Headquarters, Manhattan (JUNE 19, 2015) – Benjamin “Ben’s Biz” Hill, preeminent chronicler of the business and culture of Minor League Baseball, unveiled his new logo set today during a sparsely attended event held in the vicinity of his cubicle. The logos, designed by Sean Kane Illustration, give Hill an official branded identity for the first time in his decade-long career as a writer for MiLB.com and of his affiliated Ben’s Biz Blog.
The “Ben’s Biz” logos are inspired by Hill’s “Exploring America through Minor League Baseball” tagline. Since 2010, Hill has visited 115 (and counting) Minor League stadiums, seeking to highlight just what it is that makes each ballpark — and town — unique. He is known for dressing up as anthropomorphic racing food products, nodding politely while general managers extol the virtues of new group seating areas and dejectedly observing his “designated eaters” consume the ballpark foods that his gluten-free diet prohibits.
The Ben’s Biz primary logo color scheme consists of Ridiculous Red, Wonderful White and Beautiful Blue. How these colors differ from plain old red, white and blue is anyone’s guess, but this is Minor League Baseball and superfluous color names are encouraged. This triumvirate of hues is quintessentially American and unimpeachably patriotic, core attributes of Minor League Baseball as well as Ben himself.
The logo set is highlighted by “Smilin’ Ben,” a depiction of Hill as he would most like to present himself to the world: Beaming with confidence and possessing equal and complementary amounts of vim and vigor. Smilin’ Ben’s oversized cranium brings to mind the “bobbleheads” that are often given away by Minor League teams, while his collared shirt reminds us that this is his idea of “dressing up.” Smilin’ Ben’s unsettlingly disproportionate body is overlaid atop a map of the United States, which is itself bedecked with red baseball stitching. Like some sort of concession stand Paul Bunyan, he carries a gargantuan fork across his right shoulder that references the large role that food plays in his writing (even though he has celiac disease and can’t eat most of it himself). With his left hand, Ben is tossing a baseball in the space between the “B” and the “z” to create an impromptu “i”. Thus, “Biz.”
In addition to the primary logo, Hill unveiled a host of alternate logos that aim for a more simplified, streamlined feel. Just look at them!
And not to be overlooked is the alternate Canadian version of the primary logo, which subtly references the presence of the Vancouver Canadians within the otherwise U.S.A.-centric Minor League Baseball tableau.
“I am excited, energized, enthused and enervated to unveil these new logos,” said Hill during Friday’s cubicle-based unveiling event. “Actually, scratch that. I just looked up ‘enervated’ and that is not how I am feeling. This unhealthy alliteration impulse has gotten the best of me again. Anyhow, these logos are great. I find them to be incredible, illuminating, insightful and insipid.”
The logos were created by Ontario-based Sean Kane of Sean Kane Illustration. Over the course of his esteemed career, Sean has worked with dozens of magazines, publishing companies, institutions and corporations. Sean is also a lifelong baseball fan. His “Painted Glove Collectibles,” which were displayed in a solo New York City gallery show in 2013, feature original player portraits painted on vintage baseball gloves.
“The Ben’s Biz beat is a big one: ballparks coast-to-coast, from the front office to concession stand to on-field fun,” said Kane. “Ben’s laid-back enthusiasm, passion for the people around the game and good-natured stance toward those who can eat gluten help make him the go-to chronicler of Minor League baseball in America.”
He continued, “Capturing all that in a little logo is a bit much, but we tried anyway. We were aiming for a look that will help fans pick Ben out of a crowd, one that shows his patriotic spirit and gives a sense of how he might look as a bobblehead.”
Hill embarks on his next road trip on June 25, when he visits the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Click here to see his 2015 itinerary, as well as all his “On the Road” blog posts and MiLB.com articles.
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