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.
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.
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs – IND
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Greensboro Grasshoppers A – SAL
Distinctive colors and an excellent jersey script count for a lot. Plus the Grasshoppers even have excellent softball tops.
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.
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.
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?
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:
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.
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:
First up today is Brian Konnick, who’s short on words, but long on concepts. Seven of them, in fact, for the Chargers:
Digital Illustration of Eric Weddle in several color combinations
Next up is Adam Kaufman with a few New York Football Giants tweaks:
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.
And we close today with Paul Lee who has a concept for the Miami Heat:
Retro Heat tweak.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Uni 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).
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.
“UW #71 is one fat-ass bastard.”