Last Friday I wrote a feature story on the new-for-2012 Pensacola Blue Wahoos, but the westernmost region of the Florida panhandle isn’t the only area in which affiliated ball will debut next season.
How about them Grand Junction Rockies? The team, located in Western Colorado, was officially introduced to the public at a press conference yesterday. The Rockies will play in the Pioneer League, as the Rookie-level affiliate of the (surprise!) Colorado Rockies. Read all about it in my MiLB.com piece.
And with a new team comes a new logo. Here it is, in all its parent-club referencing glory:
As noted in the MiLB.com piece, the key difference between this mark and that of the Colorado Rockies is that the mountain range has been replaced by a mesa. As I learned today, Grand Junction has more Mesas than Jose’s family reunion.
As a club that plays in Colorado and owned by the same folks that own the Colorado Rockies, it’s not surprising that Grand Junction is going the conservative route with its look. The same could not be said of the team that they are replacing: the Casper Ghosts. As you may recall, this was the only team in professional baseball whose primary logo glowed in the dark.
In glossing over the article I wrote when the Ghosts’ logo was unveiled on Halloween 2007, I came across the following quote from team CEO Kevin Haughian.
“I originally wanted to be the Casper Weinbergers, but we figured no one would get it.”
The Ghosts’ logo was designed by Plan B Branding, which, as of today, is no longer Plan B Branding. As detailed on this blog last week, the company unveiled its new name via a week-long internet scavenger hunt. And that new name is:
Logo fiends should enjoy poking around the new website, particularly the “Behind the Scenes” section. Said section is chock-a-block with info and photos regarding how many of the Minors’ top logos came to be.
The announcement of the “Brandiose” name comes exactly one year after another notable name change. For it was on November 15, 2010 that the Omaha Storm Chasers were introduced (themselves a Plan B/Brandiose client, natch).
The name was heavily criticized by those within the community and without, and my response to the criticism (specifically that of then-ESPN columnist Rob Neyer) was the most widely-read and commented upon offseason blog post that I have ever wrote. Give it a (re)read, if you’re so inclined.
Ah, November 2010. I was so young and strong back then.
One of the things I like best about my job is that it encompasses virtually all aspects of the game of baseball, allowing me to correspond with (and often meet) a wide variety of individuals while promoting their sundry endeavors.
The endeavor I wish to promote today involves a man by the name of Joe Price, who is attempting to sing the National Anthem at as many Minor League Ballparks as possible in 2011. Given the Herculean amount of logistics involved, this will be no easy task.
But Price seems up to the challenge. He has already performed at dozens of ballparks nationwide (click HERE for a video from Cincinnati) and thus far the response to what he has dubbed “The Anthem Project” has been encouraging. 105 clubs have already replied in positive fashion, with short-season teams soon to be contacted.
Price’s Anthem Project ties into a book that he is working on, dealing with what he describes as “the history and performance of the National Anthem at professional baseball games.” The project will take place during a sabbatical from California’s Whittier College, where he teaches religious studies (previous works include “Rounding the Bases: Baseball and Religion in America”).
Price is now in the process of “proposing specific dates to various teams”. I encourage these clubs to be as flexible as possible, as this is an interesting project and one that could lead to a nice bit of local media coverage just prior.
And if there’s any industry that should be amenable to ambitious and creative promotional endeavors, it’s Minor League Baseball.
Am I right, or am I right?
That was a rhetorical question, as I am right.
And moving on from “right” to “right now”, I would be remiss in my self-imposed Halloween duties if I did not mention two more mascots who have entered the October 31st fray.
In Reno, Archie of the Aces is now delivering “Pumpkin Grams”.
Sez the team:
For just $50, the Aces’ beloved mascot Archie will personally deliver a $25 Reno Aces Gift Card and a small pumpkin with a three-pack of Reno Aces pumpkin-carving templates to the fan of your choice.
Finally, it makes sense that the Casper Ghosts, of all clubs, would be staging a Halloween promotion. Team mascot Hobart, who is in fact a platypus, will join “one lucky family” in “hitting up local merchants for treats.”
Because he’s a platypus, see? No? Well, listen, at least I tried.
Let’s take a look:
The Ghosts of Casper, WY recently announced that Mr. Boyd Erickson of Bozeman, MT has been named the winner of the team’s “10th Anniversary Logo Contest”. Mr. Erickson has recently launched Tumbleweed Graphics, a design company, so perhaps this win will net him some business.
The entire concept of a Ghost anniversary seems odd to me, as ghosts exist for eternity. There is no past or future, only an unending present of spiritual uncertainty within a hazily-defined netherworld.
The sun, meanwhile, is not eternal. Nonetheless, it possess a staying power that is largely unfathomable to those of us eking out fleeting human existences. Jacksonville’s Minor League team, which is named after this pulsating orb of life-giving warmth, recently unveiled a new color scheme. Let’s take a look at the old:
And the new:
If I had listed the Suns a bit later in this post I could have entitled their segment “Burn After Reading”. But that opportunity has been lost, so let me cut to the chase and list the four new items that Reading Phillies players will be wearing in 2010:
Classic Ballpark Game Cap:
As tempted as I am to go out on that high note, I still have one more logo to share. Earlier today, the Arkansas Travelers unveiled their new ballpark logo. The “DSP” stands for “Dickey-Stephens Park”, and none of the other virtually infinite things that DSP could potentially stand for (“Dee Snyder’s Parents”, for example):