Quite a few new logos were unveiled in the Minor Leagues over the past week, and I would be remiss in my duties if I did not mention them. The last thing I ever want to be is remiss, so let’s get to it.
On Wednesday, the Birmingham Barons (Double-A affiliate of the
Chicago White Sox) displayed their new duds at a press conference held at Regions Park. The club’s previous silver-and-black look had been reminiscent of their parent club, but now it appears the Barons are intent on forging a separate identity. The team’s new home uniform adds red to the color scheme, while the gray road duds are purposefully evocative of the Negro League’s Birmingham Black Barons. Most striking of all is the Barons’ alternate home uniform, featuring a red jersey and a cap with a drawing of a mustachioed, old-time ballplayer.
Also unveiling new duds this week were the California League’s Lancaster
JetHawks, who "jet"-isoned their somewhat cartoonish look (look to your left) in favor of something far more dignified (now, look to your right) From the team’s press release:
"The new primary logo pays tribute to the Antelope Valley’s rich
tradition of aerospace and military history while providing a sleek,
updated image for the 13-year-old franchise. The primary colors will be
navy blue, brick red, tan and cool gray. The primary logo features a
statue-like hawk’s head displayed between two military-style wings
underneath the words “Lancaster JetHawks” and over two crossed baseball
bats and centered baseball."
2008 will mark the Curve’s 10th season, and they will be celebrating this milestone all year long. In
addition to sporting a modified "10th Anniversary" logo this season, it was also announced that the team’s players would suit up on Sunday home games in special throwback uniforms. From the club’s website:
"The uniform is based on the style used in Major League Baseball during
the late 1920s, featuring
baggy pants worn just below the knees,
knee-high stirrups, a buttoned jersey top surrounded by a long thin
stripe (also known as a "braid"), which continues up to the collar, and
a short-billed hat adorned with a spider-like white trim."
More logos, they are a comin’. Stay tuned.
In anticipation of a slew of team logo changes scheduled to take place in the Minor Leagues over the next month, I thought now would be as good a time as any to take a look at the teams that sold the most merchandise in 2007. Here’s an alphabetical list of the Top 25 (sorry, specific sales figures are unavailable at this time):
1. Batavia Muckdogs (Class A Short-Season/St. Louis Cardinals)
2. Carolina Mudcats (Double-A/Florida Marlins)
3. Charleston Riverdogs (Class A/New York Yankees)
4. Corpus Christi Hooks (Double-A/Houston Astros)
5. Durham Bulls (Triple-A, Tampa Bay Devil Rays)
6. Great Lakes Loons (Class A/Los Angeles Dodgers)
7. Greensboro Grasshoppers (Class A/Florida Marlins)
8. Indianapolis Indians (Triple-A/Pittsburgh Pirates)
9. Lake Elsinore Storm (Class A Advanced/San Diego Padres)
10. Lakewood BlueClaws (Class A/Philadelphia Phillies)
11. Lansing Lugnuts (Class A/Toronto Blue Jays)
12. Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A/St. Louis Cardinals)
13. Midland RockHounds (Double-A/Oakland Athletics)
14. Nashville Sounds (Triple-A/Milwaukee Brewers)
15. Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple-A/Boston Red Sox)
16. Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A/Boston Red Sox)
17. Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A/Minnesota Twins)
18. Round Rock Express (Triple-A/Houston Astros)
19. Sacramento River Cats (Triple-A/Oakland Athletics)
20. Salt Lake Bees (Triple-A/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
21. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (Triple-A/New York Yankees)
22. Toledo Mud Hens (Triple-A/Detroit Tigers)
23. Trenton Thunder (Double-A/New York Yankees)
24. Tucson Sidewinders (Triple-A/Arizona Diamondbacks)
25. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Class A/Seattle Mariners)
Of course, Triple-A teams play in the largest markets, so it is no surprise that teams from that classification take up 12 spots on the list. The presence of cities like Batavia (population 16,256) and Lake Elsinore (47,634) is living proof that an appealing logo and savvy marketing can cause a team’s sales to extend far beyond its fan base.
The only Major League team to have three of its affiliates place in the Top 25 was the New York
Yankees (SWB Yankees, Trenton Thunder, and Charleston RiverDogs), although I believe this is a somewhat flukish occurence. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees will most likely have a hard time sustaining the massive sales boost they received as a result of switching affiliations during the ’06 offseason, and the Class A Riverdogs’ strong showing is more a result of aggressive marketing than because of their attachment to The Greatest Franchise in the History of All Sports (the RiverDogs, after all, are owned by the Veeck family).
Several teams sustained their streaks of placing in the Top 25 in every season of their existence: Albuquerque Isotopes (established 2003), Lakewood BlueClaws (est. 2001), Portland Sea Dogs (est. 1994), and the Sacramento River Cats (est. 2000). However, a pair of young franchises fell off this list for the first time this season, the Brooklyn Cyclones (est. 2001) and the Dayton Dragons (est. 2000).
In the interest of not breaking any tenets of the blogger’s code (which, among other things, forbids posts in excess of 1000 words), I will refrain from any more analysis. But, rest assured, there will soon be more.