In one of last week’s posts, I detailed a triumvirate of satirical responses that Minor League teams had come up with in regard to recent events. Well, there’s always more where that came from. One endeavor that I failed to include involved the Eugene Emeralds, who uncovered a bit of fortuitous news in the same week that they unveiled their new Sasquatch logos.
Take it away, press release, the way you have oh so many times before:
In the same week that the Eugene Emeralds Baseball Club released their new Sasquatch inspired logo, researchers have released a study finding DNA links between humans and the legendary Bigfoot. “Genetically, the Sasquatch are a human hybrid with unambiguously modern human maternal ancestry,” reads a statement released by former veterinarian Melba T. Ketchum, the lead researcher of the study. “Researchers’ extensive DNA sequencing suggests that the legendary Sasquatch is a human relative that arose approximately 15,000 years ago.”
The Emeralds have fielded questions from fans all week inquiring about the association between the Eugene Emeralds and the new Sasquatch logo. “Now it is clear,” said Ems General Manager Allan Benavides, “How is Eugene linked to Bigfoot? Well, we are all linked by DNA. You know, science.”
Fans have also been concerned that the introduction of the Sasquatch logo means the end of the loveable bright green bear mascot Sluggo. While Sasquatch is not taking over for Sluggo, the Emeralds are looking into the potential of having a live animal mascot at home games similar to the Universities of Colorado, Georgia and Texas. The organization is seeking a group of nature enthusiast interns (unpaid of course) to search out a live Bigfoot. Applications for this internship can be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to PO Box 10911, Eugene, OR 97440.
Initial plans are to use Bigfoot as the world’s largest batboy. The team has petitioned the league to have umpires undergo wilderness training to mitigate the risk of on-field attacks.
I queried the Emeralds, via Twitter, regarding the response to this unpaid internship offer. They report that they have indeed been contacted by interested applicants, and have even been in touch with a local high school’s “Squatch Club.”
For a less-recent example of excessive hair on the baseball diamond, check out this 2011 West Michigan Whitecaps innovation: the Logan Hoch cam!
Finally, fans of Minor League Baseball, movies, and the intersection of the two might enjoy my recent article on the film Parental Guidance. It stars Billy Crystal as Fresno Grizzlies announcer Artie Decker, and the opening scene was filmed at Chukchansi Park.
The article I wrote was, naturally, quite baseball-centric. But I’d like to make it known that, above and beyond the MiLB connection, Parental Guidance is a quality family movie. Yes, it suffered at times as a result of trying to be all things to all people, but it had heart, was well-written and acted, and even included a Ralph Branca cameo. In looking at some of the negative reviews it got online, my response is “Lighten up!” Making a film that can really and truly appeal to the whole family is a delicate balancing act, and Parental Guidance succeeded far more than it failed.
All of this, on some level, is a metaphor for Minor League Baseball itself.
In 2010, prior to moving into their new home of PK Park, the Eugene Emeralds updated their nature-themed logo so that it looked like this:
But minor tweaks to an inherently conservative look were clearly not enough for the Emeralds, who, under the leadership of GM Allan Benavides, have become one of the Pacific Northwest’s more irreverent and forward-thinking operations (Remember when I visited there?) On Tuesday evening the team held a public event at Eugene’s Ninkasi Brewery Company in order to unveil this mythical monstrosity as their new primary logo.
Yep, that’s a rampaging Sasquatch brandishing a tree in a somewhat threatening manner. Of course it is. In an email, Benavides took the time to explain how this all came to be.
Branding a team around a color (Emerald) was a tough hurdle for us at first. A number of different options were considered including themes that involved the forests, trees and various woodland creatures. However, once we started digging more into the name, the answer became pretty clear.
We’re the Emeralds because of the lush emerald green environment that is Eugene and what lives in the Northwest forest? Ultimately, we felt Sasquatch was the best fit to represent the mystique of the Northwest.
The logo, designed by the seemingly ubiquitous duo that is Brandiose, is unique: the Ems became the first team to use a Sasquatch as their primary logo, as well as the first team to use neon green as their primary color. From the press release:
Sasquatch biting the tree will be the emblem on the home hat while the foot-shaped “E” will serve as an alternate. The road uniforms will feature the “Eugene” script with feet on each end. Home, away and alternate uniforms will be released in the spring.
Biting the tree:
Anyone who wears this alternate cap is going to end up footing the bill:
Eugene is a weird place, as I learned when I visited this summer, and now the team has a suitably weird logo. In the press release, Jason Klein of Brandiose acknowledged the city’s effect on the design process:
“Eugene is a hotbed of countercultural ideas,” said Klein. “From Sasquatch sightings to hippy culture, the Ems are honoring Eugene’s eccentricities with a few of their own.”
It’s currently logo season here in the world of MiLB. For more blog posts on recent re-brandings, kindly check out the following: