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League Ralph, Part the Second

King Ralph

By Phil Hecken

I’m back again today with R. Scott Rogers, who last time presented to us the first 10 teams whose uniforms, he feels, could replace those in the current Major Leagues, should those teams ‘disappear’ from the landscape.

If you missed that introductory post, which fully explains the set-up, please click here.

The second set of teams will be introduced today, along with Scott’s justification for picking them (by uniform set), and we’ll have one final post on this next time around.

So, without further ado…here ‘s Scott with…

. . . . .

League Ralph – Reconstituting the Big Leagues, Part 2
By R. Scott Rogers

League Ralph – Reconstituting the Big Leagues, Part 2

If MLB as we knew it disappeared, how would we reconstitute the big leagues? By finding the 30 lower-level teams with the best uniforms and promoting them to the bigs, of course. Here is the second part of my list of the teams whose uniforms should earn them a shot at playing in the majors. For part one, read last week’s entry.

Got a favorite farm or independent club that didn’t make the list? Let us know, and why, in the comments.

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Charlotte Blue ClawsLakewood BlueClaws A – SAL
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What is it about crab-themed baseball uniforms? They’re all excellent. And while this Charlotte Stone Crabs cap has been my vacation companion for years, the Lakewood BlueClaws are the best-looking of the crab teams in Minor League Baseball.

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Maryland Blue CrabsSouthern Maryland Blue Crabs – IND
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Note I said “in Minor League Baseball.” The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs look even better than the BlueClaws, but they’re an independent team, so the reconstituted big leagues get a pair of crabs. Surely a step up from a pair of Soxes.

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Tulsa DrillersTulsa Drillers AA – TL
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Assignment: Take every single design element that made the 2004-2011 Blue Jays suck, and make a good-looking uniform. Suck as in, possibly the worst uniforms in MLB history. Impossible? On the contrary. The Tulsa Drillers have it all – black, gray, and blue color scheme, beveled liquid-metallic script, over-outlined numbers, the whole shebang – but the Drillers tweak the color balance just enough to make it work. Oh, and Tulsa has a name that makes sense with a drippy black/gray theme.

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Visalia RawhideVisalia Rawhide A – CaL
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Of all the teams that have worn dark red, black, and tan, including the Diamondbacks and Astros, the Rawhide have the best uniforms. Might as well promote them to the bigs.

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Lakeland Flying TigersLakeland Flying Tigers A – FSL
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I don’t mind military tributes. I mind lazy military tributes. You want to wear a camouflage uniform? Go to Today’s Military, choose an armed forces career, and enlist. Want to have a sports team uniform that pays tribute to America’s martial heritage? Go to Lakeland, Florida, and take notes from the Flying Tigers. Perfection.

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cedar rapids kernelsCedar Rapids Kernels A – MWL
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Hometown bias? Maybe. And maybe you have to have grown up learning to read from Playtime Poppy to really dig the Kernels’ corn-cob mascot. Still, the big leagues have long needed a blue-and-green team (Seattle’s teal doesn’t count) and nobody in pro ball pulls it off as well as the Cedar Rapidians. Bonus: Their home jersey script combines tackle-twill and chain-stitching. Texture!

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Ashville TouristsAsheville Tourists A – SAL
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Another too-cute recent redesign that shouldn’t work … but does. I could live without the goofy cartoon-moon-man cap mascot, but in a world where the Orioles’ ridiculous cartoon bird is a respected cap logo, you can’t hold moon-man against the Tourists. And, really, one of the best road uniforms in the minor leagues.

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OKC RedhawksOklahoma City Redhawks AAA – PCL
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How does a team called the Redhawks wear a blue cap? Same way a team called the Red Sox wears mainly blue, or a team called the White Sox wears mainly black, I suppose. Thematically, the Redhawks would be decent substitutes for the Reds in a reconstituted MLB. About the only real drawback is the unbalanced lower-chest number, but that’s already an issue for several big-league teams.

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Greensville GrasshoppersGreensboro Grasshoppers A – SAL
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Distinctive colors and an excellent jersey script count for a lot. Plus the Grasshoppers even have excellent softball tops.

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Laredo LemursLaredo Lemurs – IND
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Most of the time, attempts to make a fierce-looking mascot logo just come off looking like the visual equivalent of a deconstructivist academic essay on critical theory. But when you start with an animal as inherently unthreatening as a lemur, the whole angry-mascot thing feels like they’re playing a joke on all the other teams with angry mascots. Plus, Lemurs live in Madagascar, half a world away from south Texas. The ridiculousness here is turned up to 11, and MLB could use a taste of that. Also, black and metallic gold: MLB could use a taste of that, too.

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Honorable Mentions

Caspar Ghosts – A (ex)
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Sure, the glow-in-the-dark cap was a gimmick. But the Ghosts had some of the best uniforms in pro ball in my lifetime. And I’m old enough to have seen the Phillies in burgundy pinstripes.

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Lake County Fielders – IND (ex)
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I don’t pretend to know what the hell happened with this team, or where the money went, but damn, they looked good.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thanks, Scott! Great set of duds for Part the Second. I’m sure there are a few of us who are waiting with bated breath for the final segment!

Readers? What say you? Anything to add?

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Title Box

Lewis & Clark Uniform Design Contest

Every Sunday, we’ll have news and updates on the design contest being sponsored by Ross Clites. If you missed the introductory post on this, please click here. Last weekend, we introduced Part X which is the second article here. You can also visit the Lewis & Clark homepage for more information and updates.

Yesterday we revealed the eighth set of concepts for the “Pioneers” (you can still submit for the Travelers [deadline 4/23] and the Voyagers [deadline 4/30]). And today, we’ll reveal the eleventh team for concepting.

If you missed yesterday’s post, which revealed the readers submissions for the “Navigators,” you can vote for your favorite concepts (you may vote for up to three). Link here (scroll down to second article).

Here’s Ross with this week’s updates/information:

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The Best-Laid Schemes o’ Mice an’ [River]Men
By Ross Clites

Let’s rewind for a second. It was the very beginning of February (this year) and I pitched to Phil a crazy idea of a Uni Watch-sponsored logo/uniform contest. There was snow on the ground in nearly every and the start date for the Lewis & Clark Baseball League season literally felt worlds away. “Yeah, we’ll have plenty of time to finish a 12-week series of submissions.”

It is not like the typical procrastination bug bit me, but I sure did not manage my time well. This is no fault of anyone but my own; I simply came up with this plan too late in the game, and didn’t realize it until the clock had already starting counting down. Even with the amazing turnaround times of Garb Athletic and OC Caps, the calendar is scaring me.

The issue: I stuck with the alphabet too long. You see, the goal was to launch the Clark Conference (four expansion teams, playing exclusively on the weekdays) this 2014 season. They were to be the Captains, Navigators, River Men, and Lookouts. Oops, I “wasted” a whole week collecting proposals for the Diplomats — a 2015 team — while the River Men have yet to be posted.

Solution: reshuffle the deck, promote the Diplomats to the show a year early, and sit the River Men back down on the bench with the Settlers.

So here they are, the River Men… my favorite wordmark that I created. Have fun with that gorgeous Columbia blue.

. . .

River Men

~ ~ ~

Thanks, Ross!

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all sport uni tweaksUni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:

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First up today is Brian Konnick, who’s short on words, but long on concepts. Seven of them, in fact, for the Chargers:

weddle IG size4 - Brian Konnick weddle IG size5 - Brian Konnick

weddle IG size6 - Brian Konnick weddle IG size7 - Brian Konnick

weddle IG size8 - Brian Konnick weddle IG size9 - Brian Konnick

weddle IG size10 - Brian Konnick

Hey Phil,

Digital Illustration of Eric Weddle in several color combinations

Brian Konnick

. . .

Next up is Adam Kaufman with a few New York Football Giants tweaks:

giantsuni1 - Adam Kaufman giantsuni2 - Adam Kaufman

giantsuni3 - Adam Kaufman giantsuni4 - Adam Kaufman

Hey Phil,

I’ve done a few alternate unis, logos, and helmets for the NY Giants and thought you might want to check them out. Pics 1 and 2 are the first unialts I came up with. On 2, the left two are the teams’ regular colorways. Pics 3 & 4 are 2 different uniforms and 5 different helmets.

Big fan of your twitter feed.

Adam
@korda416

. . .

And we close today with Paul Lee who has a concept for the Miami Heat:

Heat tweak - Paul Lee

Phil

Retro Heat tweak.

Paul Lee

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.

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ticker 2Uni Watch News Ticker:

Unfortunately, not a lot of ticker submissions yesterday, so we’ll do this old-school.

Why were the Boston Braves wearing a swastika on their caps when they opened the 1914 season against the Brooklyn Dodgers? That, and more are answered in that NY Times piece, in which Paul is quoted. … For playoff hockey, NBCSN is using old, old stars logo for its graphic (good grab by David Greenwald). … “Can the speculation begin that not only the Browns but could the Patriots come out with new jerseys to match the current wordmark next year?” asks James Collard, who noticed “on Monday the $5 ad came out and that number font is like the jersey font and on Friday the 20% ad came out and that font is like the new wordmark font.” … Lots and lots of pink was present for the Cal vs. Oregon Ducks softball game on the 18th (h/t to Alex Allen for the second pic). … Yesterday against Cardiff City, Stoke City’s Peter Crouch, has lost his “o” (nice spot by Johnny Flanagan). It was also spotted by Nolan Brett, Mark Coale, and Mitch Mirsky. … At Arizona State’s spring game, it was All Maroon vs. Gold/White/Gold. Maroon helmets had large pitchfork on one side and number on the other. “Of special note,” writes submitter Marc Altieri, “Marcus Washington (#20) was wearing maroon/white/maroon and QB’s wore black non-contact jerseys.” … Yesterday, the scoreboard operators had inadvertently hung a number upside down for the Baltimore vs Boston game (thanks to Brian Crago). … Chris Archer of the Rays having a little wardrobe malfunction Saturday vs. the Yankees (great spot by Wayne Koehler). … Lexington Catholic High School has a football field doubles as the softball field in the spring (from Josh Claywell). … This patch is on the back of the inside of the Penguins playoffs jersey (thanks to Zach Conrad). … Yesterday, the Maryland Terrapins lacrosse coach wore a Boston Strong hat vs. Notre Dame (good catch by Jared Buccola). … Also joining the remembrances were several Penn Quakers who wore the Boston area code 617 on their helmets Saturday against Dartmouth (spotted by Tris Wykes). … The Tampa Bay Rays have a player with a really long last name (spotted by Harrison Tishler), but, sorry, TB, it’s not even the longest name in MLB. … Ike Davis, traded from the Mets to the Pirates Friday, is wearing #15 (he wore #29 with the Mets). … Auburn held its spring game yesterday, and the helmets were affixed with 2013 SEC Champions decals (from Clint Richardson). … Indiana baseball joined Pinkril yesterday (h/t H.B. Donnelly). … The Avs had this on the rink before the playoff games, writes Stephen Scheffel. … Have you ever wanted to know how to dress an Astronaut? Now you can (thanks, Brinke). … It’s a little hard to see, but it appears Russell Martin has a matte catcher’s helmet (thanks to Nick Schiavo). … Want to pay more than $75 for a Dallas Mavs t-shirt? (via Matt Bellner). … Real nice column on the Trailblazers’ seamstress (h/t Ian Borkowski). … Is nothing sacred? A Nike employee has been caught stealing shoes and selling them on the black market (h/t Jerry Nitzh).

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And that’s all for today — for those who celebrate, a Happy Easter to you all. Big thanks to Scotty for today’s lede, and to Ross & the concepters too. Everyone have a great day and I’ll catch you next time!

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.

Peace.

.. … ..

“UW #71 is one fat-ass bastard.”
–Keith

39 comments to League Ralph, Part the Second

  • Ronnie Poore | April 20, 2014 at 8:10 am |

    nice work with the Chargers unis Brian Konnick. As Moe from the 3 Stooges says, “pick two!” i love the all white, and since the NFL only allows one helmet, stick the white lid on the powder blue jersey/gold pants combo and you’re done.

  • Nate | April 20, 2014 at 8:28 am |

    “Damn, [the Lake County Fielders] looked good??” Their unis are nearly duplicates of the Atlanta Braves home uni and cream alternate, which you did not rate so highly in your MLB team rankings. I am outraged.

    • The Jeff | April 20, 2014 at 9:11 am |

      Um… at what point did R. Scott Rogers do any sort of MLB uniform rankings? Not everything posted here is written by Paul or Phil, you know.

      • BvK1126 | April 20, 2014 at 9:41 am |

        “The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Uni Watch, its owner or editors.”

        • Komet17 | April 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm |

          “…and may not be rebroadcast or retransmitted without the expression written consent of the commissioner of baseball…”

    • arrScott | April 20, 2014 at 12:57 pm |

      For what it’s worth, if you take away all the alt-encrustations of the last decade, and stick with just the home whites and road grays and the One True Braves Cap of navy crown, red brim, I think the Braves might just have the best uniform in all of professional sports.

      And I hate the Braves. With the white-hot fire of a thousand suns.

      • Steve D | April 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm |

        Add the vertically arched names back and I agree.

  • BvK1126 | April 20, 2014 at 9:36 am |

    “And maybe you have to have grown up learning to read from Playtime Poppy to really dig the Kernels’ corn-cob mascot.”

    Wow! That was a blast from the past that I was not expecting. Now I’m going to have the Playtime Poppy theme song running through my head for the rest of the day. Thanks for that, Scott.

  • Terry Proctor | April 20, 2014 at 9:39 am |

    Nice article on Donna, the Blazers’ seamstress. Even with all of today’s advanced technology you still need people like Donna to make the uniforms ready to be worn. I’ve never met her, but in my years in the business I’ve known people that were like her. These ladies do their craft as a labor of love. Their work makes the games more enjoyable for everyone to watch. May your needle stay sharp forever, Donna.

  • M.Princip | April 20, 2014 at 9:53 am |

    Great way to sell those brighter Charger colors; i.e. yellow, with that background. Nice job, Brian.

    • The Jeff | April 20, 2014 at 10:41 am |

      I wouldn’t mind seeing the Chargers go with that yellow helmet. Possibly a blue bolt instead of a white one, but either works. There’s real shortage of yellow helmets in the NFL and far too many white or navy ones.

  • The ASU Jaguar | April 20, 2014 at 9:59 am |

    “Nolan Brett”…with that talismanic name, he should have been a baseball player.

  • Cmoneyou | April 20, 2014 at 9:59 am |

    As an Oklahoman, I hate the okc logo because it looks like the word cock

  • James Burke | April 20, 2014 at 10:24 am |

    I’m pretty sure it’s the Casper Ghosts.

    • DenverGregg | April 20, 2014 at 10:35 am |

      It was. For the past two or three years, though, they’ve been the Grand Junction Rockies. Makes for much shorter bus trips to other towns in the league.

    • arrScott | April 20, 2014 at 1:00 pm |

      Oh, man. And I’m the guy who once misspelled Ottawa “Ottowa” in print, so I oughta know better.

  • Bruce Menard | April 20, 2014 at 10:27 am |

    “Why were the Boston Braves wearing a swastika on their caps when they opened the 1914 season…”

    Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 4 1/2 years since I originally sent that photo to Paul (Here’s the original Uni Watch link from 9/14/2009 – http://www.uni-watch.com/2009/09/14/monday-morning-uni-watch-35/). By the way, the Lusitania theory wasn’t mine, it came from an erroneous auction description that you can see here: http://www.legendaryauctions.com/LotDetail.aspx?inventoryid=97043

    It’s funny to see how much that photo still gets people going, but at least the complete the story is now known.

    Cheers!
    ~Bruce

    • Bruce Menard | April 20, 2014 at 11:23 am |

      “…but at least the complete the story is now known.”

      Or even better, “…the complete story is now known.”
      Stupid typos ;-)

  • Lee Wilds | April 20, 2014 at 11:09 am |

    Nice work Mr. Konnick, your concepts would be a definite upgrade over the current Charger unis.

    • KSaw | April 20, 2014 at 11:33 am |

      I don’t typically like the reader produced re-designs but I will say like the Chargers ones. I could do without the two black ones but the other ones actually look pretty darn good.

    • quiet seattle | April 20, 2014 at 11:58 am |

      What I appreciate about these concepts is the playfulness of the presentation and the absence of maker’s mark.

      • quiet seattle | April 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm |

        Eh…woops. Just spotted the mark. Oh, well…..I still like the cheerful backdrop.

  • Andrew Domingo | April 20, 2014 at 11:22 am |

    The yellow pants on the Chargers just looks too bright for my liking.

  • Attila Szendrodi | April 20, 2014 at 12:01 pm |

    How long until teams start wearing pastel uniforms on Easter?

    • Simply Moono | April 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm |

      That’ll be the day that every pastel blog on Tumblr starts posting sports stuff.

  • Simply Moono | April 20, 2014 at 12:22 pm |

    Happy Easter, everyone!

  • Mike | April 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm |

    Is anybody else wondering what we’re supposed to be looking for in the Avs photo?

    • The Jeff | April 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm |

      Obviously it’s a demonic summoning ritual. A bunch of dark cloaked figures around a glowing circle? C’mon man.

  • Dan J | April 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm |

    Ebay always makes me laugh with some of the prices people want to charge. $75 for a Mavs t-shirt??? I may be a Mavs fan but that’s ridiculous. I remember I saw a used, dirty Sports Specialties Miami Dolphins script hat that someone wanted to sell for $99 on ebay. Who in their right mind would buy that?

    As an aside, I’d like to wish Ike Davis good luck with the Pirates. He seems like a good guy and it’s too bad it didn’t work in New York. Maybe the change of scenery will work for Ike.

  • Ryan R | April 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm |

    1. Little bummed the Columbus Clippers didn’t make the list of one of the best looking MiLB teams. IMHO they’re one of the better looking in the MiLB.

    2. That NY Times article about the Swastikas on Boston Braves uniform, I don’t think that writer knows the Nazis didn’t start ruling Germany until 1933, so it was roughly 19 years before the Nazis used it that the Braves wore it, not a few years as the journalist makes it sound like

    • arrScott | April 20, 2014 at 5:02 pm |

      There are ten more teams to be named in Part the Third, which will likely run next Sunday, unless there’s another Division 1 uni unveil on Saturday. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I will say that road trips have made me a fan of Columbus and its teams, including the Clippers.

  • walter | April 20, 2014 at 6:50 pm |

    Thanks, Scott, for codifying what I’ve always believed: Some teams deserve better merely upon the basis of what they wear.

  • Douglas King | April 20, 2014 at 7:25 pm |

    If it wasn’t for the fact that the Patriots introduced a new wordmark last year, I wouldn’t read anything into the sale, if having a sale on the items in your pro shop meant new jerseys then every team in the league would be getting new jerseys next year.

    The Packers had a 20% off sale on every item in the store during their last home game this past year, and the sale continued the following week. They also have a clearance sale every year around May (its in late April this year).

    Teams are simply moving gear to make way for the stuff they will be ordering for the upcoming season. This is mainly to move all the “team-issue” apparel from the previous season (as Nike, like Reebok before them, releases new lines of clothing and sideline gear for all teams). Its like when car lots have big sales that they chalk up to storm damage or an over-shipment, what is really happening is they are trying to move their inventory before it counts against them on taxes and/or their budget.

    So the sale isn’t a sign that the Pats are swapping out their wordmarks; the fact that they introduced a wordmark and are using it heavily is a sign that they are probably tweaking that part of their jersey.

    • BurghFan | April 20, 2014 at 10:25 pm |

      I’d be shocked if the new Pats wordmark isn’t going to be on the jersey this year. I can only imagine that it wasn’t last year because of all the retail stock that had the old mark. Of course, wordmarks on NFL jerseys are entirely about retail products, which makes this whole thing even more ridiculous.

      • Brendan (no longer the Aspie) | April 22, 2014 at 2:27 am |

        Last season, when asked why the old wordmark was still on the jersey, Kraft claimed he couldn’t change it because of the “one change every five years” rule. Which is complete bullshit, the Patriots last changed their unis in 2000.

        Definitely a retail stock issue.

    • James Collard | April 20, 2014 at 11:05 pm |

      i wasnt talking about the sale i was talking about the number font is the patriots getting a new jersey because they decided to use a new number font.

  • LD | April 21, 2014 at 1:43 am |

    I for one cant stand the Pats most recent wordmark font.I may have to change my screen name considering Im always posting last due to my unusual hours

  • TheMaw | April 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm |

    I really like the Salt Lake Bees uni’s.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Howie_Kendrick_Salt_Lake_Bees.jpg

    Simple and classic.

  • JenInChicago | April 21, 2014 at 4:19 pm |

    Russell Martin’s matte helmet’s been mentioned a few times, right?