In last week’s post about the Great Falls Voyagers, I hinted at the fact that yet another Minor League logo change would soon follow.
And follow it did! On Thursday evening, the New York-Penn League’s Williamsport Crosscutters unveiled their new identity at the club’s annual Hot Stove dinner. This identity hearkens back to a memorable period of the Pennsylvania city’s history.
"Our new look honors Williamsport’s legacy as the original ‘Lumber Capital of the World’, when the city had more millionaires per-capita than anywhere else," said Crosscutters Vice President of Marketing Gabe Sinicropi in a press release.
Unfortunately, the logo does not honor the millionaires themselves, as a jersey featuring a
monocle-wearing guy in a top hat would be quite awesome. Here are the details on the new look, excerpted from the press release:
"Fans will enjoy a team logo featuring a new lumberjack illustration with crossed log and bat….Three new caps are also part of the new identity program. The home cap is red with a W-shaped saw logo. The road cap is navy blue with a "C" on the stump. The third cap is an alternate cap which is red with a navy blue bill and features the new lumberjack illustration…A woodpecker and a pine cone mark will also make their way into the Crosscutters identity program, providing additional souvenir opportunities for fans."
I, for one, am glad that woodpecker and pine cone made their way into the identity program. I imagine them as two best friends who travel across the country looking for Minor League logos to incorporate themselves into, and have in fact tried to interest several network executives in a sitcom pilot I wrote that is based around this premise.
More Crosscutters news will be coming down the pike at a later date, when the team reveals its new mascot. As mentioned before on this esteemed blog, the team’s previous mascot, Rusty Roughcut, stepped down from his post at the same time that the Mitchell Report was released. Coincidence?
And, finally, it must be mentioned that this is the second new lumberjack logo to be unveiled this month. This, of course, was the first.
This offseason’s nearly non-stop parade of new logos and "identity changes" have been somewhat exhausting for an obsessive-compulsive blogger such as myself, and sometimes I find myself wishing that they would stop already.
But then something like this comes along, and I am reminded anew why I like this crazy business so much in the first place. For those who didn’t just click on the above link, let me spell it out for you: On Tuesday, the Pioneer League entity previously known as the Great Falls White Sox changed their name to the Great Falls Voyagers.
I love when teams change their identities to better reflect local history, which is obviously a greater source of pride to the community than often tenuous alliances with Major League ballclubs. In the case of Great Falls, the Voyagers name was chosen due to a very interesting piece of local history. From the team’s new website: "In 1950, Nick Mariana, the General Manager of the Great Falls Baseball team, filmed two rotating, silvery objects above the ballpark. The Mariana film is one of the strongest cases supporting the existence of UFOs." (an excerpt from the Mariani footage can be found here).
As a bonus, "Voyagers", can also be used as a reference to the fact that the Lewis and Clark expedition arrived in Great Falls in 1850. In fact, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is located in Great Falls. But let’s not kid ourselves, when it comes to an image suitable for early 21st century Minor League Baseball, extraterrestrials will beat out 19th-century explorers any day (this was recently proven on an episode of the popular Japanese game show "Time Traveling Interstellar Minor League Logo Fight!").
I am sorry to say that I was unaware of Great Falls’ identity change prior to this morning (thanks to
Brian Earle from the Minor League head office for the tip), as the team’s advertising campaign over the past month was creative and highly detailed. Check it out here, scroll through the archives, and be amazed.
Believe it or not, there will be another Minor League logo change in a scant three hours (I am bound to secrecy as to which team it is, however). You can rest easy knowing that Ben’s Biz Blog will cover it in full, by Monday at the latest (I’m busy!).
For our purposes, what’s much more important is this piece of late-breaking news that actually originates from Clinton, Iowa:
The Clinton LumberKings (Class A affiliate of the Texas Rangers) have updated their long-running "Louie the LumberKing" logo for the 21st century!
The original Louie logo was unveiled in 1994 to much fanfare. His handlebar mustache, plaid undershirt, and generally swarthy appearance captured the zeitgeist perhaps better than any other mid-90s Minor League logo. But times have changed, so therefore Louie must change as well.
The most obvious difference between the two Louies is that the new one is significantly bulked up
(steroid jokes are too obvious here, although I must use this opportunity to reiterate my suspicions regarding Williamsport’s Rusty Roughcut). He is also sporting a crisp goatee, and the way his right eyebrow is arched gives off an air of malevolent glee. Obviously, Louie quite enjoys his position as ruler of felled wood.
Last, but certainly not least, Louie now swings a conventional baseball bat. Apparently he got tired of his previous piece of baseball lumber, which was simply a board with a nail in it. That was a seriously outdated piece of equipment, as the last professional league that allowed boards with nails in them to be used as baseball bats was the short-lived Player’s League, which folded after its inaugural campaign in 1890.
It has been my goal to do a post on all the new logo changes in the Minor Leagues this offseason, and sometimes I wonder if this is a task that is too much for just one man to handle. Yet, I soldier on, despite repeated inability to do this in a timely fashion.
Today, we visit the Yakima Bears of the Class A Short-Season Northwest League, who unveiled a brand-new "Team Identity System" just last month. From the press release:
"The goal of this project was to develop a new look that is classic and complements their current state in the community. The Bears are here for the long haul, and they want a look that reflects that commitment."
A quick click on this link will direct fans to a page that includes the press release, a photo gallery, a TV news report, and a fashion show video. That should be more than enough to satiate your admittedly voracious new logo appetites (or at least I hope it is, you non-commenting monsters).
If you are currently experiencing a strong sense of deja vu, it is probably due to this.
The Class A Midwest League franchise formerly known as "The Swing of the Quad Cities" will henceforth be known as the Quad Cities River Bandits! This is not a "new" name so much as a return to the old, as the club went by the the River Bandits handle from 1992-2003.
After four years as the rather awkwardly-named "Swing of the", the club (which is under new ownership) initiated a "ReName the Team" contest, in which fans were invited to choose between six potential monikers. River Bandits ended up with a ******** 48% of the vote, while Channel Cats received a very respectable 32%. None of the remaining four choices (Talons, Current, River Eagles, and Swing) ended up with more than 6% of the vote.
It goes without saying that with a new team name comes a new team logo, which is featured right at the top of this here post. Obligatory quote from the press release:
"The new logo has a ‘lively’ personality," commented Randy Jacobs, CEO of local marketing agency Jacobs Thoms. "The overall impression is aggressive, but at the same time fun. The raccoon character adds some emotions to the icon and the colors are vibrant and positive, supporting a lively personality."
Finally, the club has also announced that they have reached an agreement with the Modern
Woodmen of America, who purchased the naming rights for John O’Donnell Stadium for the next 10 seasons. As a baseball purist, I am always a tad dismayed to see the name of a stadium sold to a private interest. However, the River Bandits deserve credit for choosing to go with an organization that has deep roots in the Quad Cities area as well as a proven track record of investing in the community.
Plus, I’ve got to admit it: Modern Woodmen Stadium is a really cool name. While we’re at it, I’d love to see that become a colloquial term for 21st Century Baseball players. You know, guys play in college with aluminum bats, but then a select few go on to the pros and become "Modern Woodmen".
Any team logo change quite naturally falls under the Ben’s Biz Blog sphere of coverage, so I must belatedly do a post in recognition of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats‘ new look. The team unveiled its fresh duds approximately two weeks ago in conjunction with a press conference welcoming new skipper Gary Cathcart, who takes the reigns after Bill Massey was let go following last year’s 70-73 campaign.
The Fisher Cats’ new primary colors are the complementary quartet of emerald green, black, white, and silver. In keeping with what has become a time-honored tradition here at this fine blog, I now defer to the press release:
"The redesigned home uniforms are white with black piping around the arms and neck, down the front of the jersey and along the side of the legs. ‘Fisher Cats’ will be displayed in script across the chest in emerald green lettering with a gold fill and a black outline."
"The primary road uniform will be gray with black piping around the arms and neck, down the front of the jersey and along the side of the legs. ‘New Hampshire’ will be spelled out in black, all-capital block lettering across the chest with a white fill and gold outline."
While the new logo probably won’t satisfy the subset of New Hampshire fans who
are eternally frustrated that the team jettisoned its original name of "Primaries", it definitely succeeds in capturing the wily ferocity of everyone’s favorite medium-sized predatory mustelid. Well done, New Hampshire. Well done.
I know it’s hard to fathom, but we recently suffered through a nearly two-week stretch in which no new logos were unveiled within the wide world of the affiliated Minor Leagues. Fortunately for us all, the Fresno Grizzlies have emphatically ended this ignominious streak.
On Thursday, the Grizzlies debuted their new uniforms in a public "launch event" that was held at Fresno’s World Sports Cafe. The new duds marks the third time in 10 seasons that the Grizzlies have overhauled their look. No one can accuse the club of being complacent, that’s for sure!
Team officials seem to believe that the third time’s the charm, however. In a press release sent out
yesterday, the Grizzlies state that the new look will "shape the team’s identity for the longevity of the franchise".
Ah, but was is this new look exactly? As I can always be counted on to do in times of need, I refer to the press release once again:
"The new primary logo features a Grizzly Bear poised atop a custom and stylized ‘Grizzlies" font. The bear’s menacing claws clutch the "G" and "S" of the team moniker, which is centered over a home plate that is highlighted with "Fresno" and anchored by a baseball.
In a move consistent with strong fan feedback, the Grizzlies will adopt an orange and black color scheme that mirrors their Minor League affiliate, the San Francisco Giants."
Much more information can be obtained in this press release, but I will refrain from further quotation-mongering. All I can see fit to add is that this is one mean-looking Grizzly, an intimidating individual who seems far removed from the easy-going affability of Parker the team mascot.
Seeing as how the Grizzlies are a tireless and innovative organization, I have faith
that they will have no problem reconciling these contrasting personas. My hope is that the bear depicted on the logo teams up with Parker, and after an initial period of mutual distrust they get over their differences and work together as an unstoppable crime fighting unit. It’ll be like a Minor League version of 48 HRS.
Yesterday evening, the Double-A Eastern League franchise unveiled its new logo and uniforms at a star-studded fashion show held at a local community college. The logos were the work of Plan B Branding, which, coincidentally enough, also designed the IronPigs’ mascot.
Former Reading (and Philadelphia) Phillies such as Ricky Bottalico, Greg Gross and Eric Valent were on hand at the fashion show to model the team’s vast array of new uniform options. Some pertinent info from the team’s press release:
"A dynamic, modern evolution of the current Phillies identity, the new look features a titled polished ‘R-Phils’ primary logo. Fans will also enjoy a new Dynamic Star and the Reading Pagoda makes its way into the R-Phils identity program.
Phillies Red, Light Blue, Dark Navy and "Bubble Gum" make up the club’s new official colors, paying tribute to their Phillies heritage. The R-Phils are the first professional sports team to use Bubble Gum in their identity."
Putting aside the fact that bubble gum is something that is traditionally chewed up and spit out,
these uniforms look great. Including the Reading Pagoda on the sleeves is a nice touch, as it pays homage to one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Reading area and also serves to differentiate the R-Phils from their parent organization.
But wait — there’s more. Check out this sweet little tidbit:
"In 2008 the R-Phils will also sport a powder blue
Retro Uniform based on the 1980 World Champion Phillies Uniform with a
modernized R-Train cap logo. The powder blue uniform will be the club’s
road uniform and will also be used once a week for home games."
a whole lot more to digest regarding the R-Phils’ new look, but I think
at this point the responsible thing to do would be to direct my readers
here. While a bit
cluttered, the R-Phils’ home page may just be my favorite team website
in the Minor Leagues, simply because there is always so much going on
over there — videos, podcasts, polls, pictures, and a whole lot more.
Check it out.
the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws
recently unveiled a new alternate logo. Featuring a blue crab claw
holding a bat, the new logo will be worn by the team during Friday home
games in 2008.
When the entity formerly known as the Casper Rockies unveiled their new name and logo on Halloween, it was an occurrence of such grave import that the day’s other big news story got swept under the proverbial rug. Let me now correct this nearly unforgivable oversight.
For on Halloween, the Huntsville Stars revealed their new logo as well — one that features a flaming space rocket hurtling toward the stratosphere, undoubtedly on its way to explore the infinite nooks and crannies of the universe. From the team’s press release:
"We very much wanted to keep the space theme evident, but give the new logo more character," said Stars General Manager Tom Van Schaak. "The new logo gives us much more room to be creative in marketing the team to baseball fans locally and around the world."
You see, the Stars old logo (look to your right) also had a space theme, but it was a bit less flashy in
its execution. Perhaps one could say the re-vamped logo is representative of a bold new age in space travel, in which the initiative of private enterprise takes precedence over the lumbering machinations of the federal government. Or, perhaps not, as the reason the franchise is named the "Stars" in the first place is because Huntsville is located near the NASA-operated Marshall Space Flight Center.
But to return to more important matters — the 2008 Stars will take the field wearing jerseys featuring the new logo (an alternate red jersey will also be donned on occasion), and the club’s caps will be modified versions of the traditional Huntsville "H".
Those looking to get a head start on holiday shopping for the logo-fixated loved ones in their life can head on over to the Stars’ team store, where merchandise with the new logo is available for purchase.
And, believe it or not, more logo-related info will soon be on its way to you, the reader. Check back with this fine blog tomorrow for a riveting story involving the Minor Leagues’ other aerospace-influenced franchise. It’s quite a scoop.
Apologies for the lack of posts over the past several days. The reason for this inactivity is that I have been forced against my will to write actual articles for MiLB.com. That is an outrage. My overseers should know that this fine blog is priority number one.
Regardless, some of these aforementioned articles have been somewhat interesting. First, there was the story of former utility man (and current Minor League manager) Randy Ready and his uncanny dog-recovery abilities. Then, there was this piece on the team formerly known as the Casper Rockies changing their name to the Ghosts.
It is this latter story that I would like to talk about now. There are many interesting points to make regarding the Ghosts’ new identity (seriously, I love this kind of stuff), but what I would like to focus on is this:
With their new glow-in-the dark logo caps, the Ghosts are confident they can overtake the Lake
Elsinore Storm (well known for their menacing "eye" logo) and become the best-selling logo in all of Minor League Baseball. After the Ghosts’ plans of logo domination became clear, the Storm issued a quick rebuttal:
"We’ve got nothing to worry about and are confident we will remain the
number one logo in Minor League Baseball." Lake Elsinore Storm
President Dave Oster responded on Wednesday. "Storm Nation is now
worldwide and unbeatable. They’ve got no shot at reaching our level for
the simple fact that the last time I checked …….aren’t ghosts
Oooooh….them’s fighting words.
So, read the article. Check out the web sites for both teams. And form your own opinion: Do the Ghosts have what it takes to rise to the top of the heap? Or will the Storm’s long-running dominance of the Minor League merchandise standings continue unabated?
Feel free to provide your thoughts on this important matter in the comments section (It’s been a little dead in there recently, which hurts my feelings. I am a very sensitive soul).