By Phil Hecken
A couple of weeks ago, reader R. Scott Rogers came up with a genius idea for a contest to design new uniforms (and come up with a new name) for a baseball team if the Tampa Bay Rays were ever to move from their current home. All the details are in the link above. I received more than 30 submissions (34 to be exact, with one submitter who sent some files I couldn’t open — they’ll be added if I receive new submissions).
So, without any further ado, and in alphabetical order, lets take a look at the first half of those submissions. Part I runs today, Part II runs tomorrow. We’ll have voting both days — the top 3 vote-getters for each day will have a run-off to decide a winner next weekend. Most submitters gave some description (I had asked they be kept to 50 words or less, but some went over), while a few did not. I love the variety of the names and descriptions, and even the submissions themselves — those hand drawn ones (and there are several) are always a blast to see.
Descriptions follow the pictures. Click on each to enlarge.
Tom Bierbaum – “Brooklyn Devils”
BROOKLYN DEVILS: A celebrated Union Army unit during the Civl War was known as the Brooklyn Red Legged Devils and that seemed too baseball-ish to pass up, so here are some new red legged devils. See details on my blog. Tom Bierbaum, Erie, Pa.
David Britt – “Carolina Highlanders”
In NC, we’re Braves fans, but I’d love to have a team of our own. I also want a name that makes some regional sense. I went with navy, blue, and green tartan colors. Never a huge fan of the Rays’ plaid hats, but it makes sense here on alts.
Kevin Callahan – “Havana Perfectos”
Named for cuban cigar type, “Perfectos” has a classic ring to it. I am proud of incorporating the smoke curl into the “H”. Red, white and blue are the national colors and I added cigar band gold. Cool, white unis for the tropical heat and Cuban red for the road.
Marco Castro – “Florida Hunters”
My idea is the Florida Hunters. I know that the prompt mentioned a city and perhaps a franchise located out of the region but many people felt that they were left without a team after the Marlins “relocated” to Miami. This team could play in either Orlando or in the city of Tampa itself (not St. Pete). The primary logo is a target meaning that the organization is focused on its goals both on and off the field. The secondary logo is the sleeve patch that is placed on the left side of the jersey.
Hank Cheung – “New Orleans Fusion”
Introducing the New Orleans Fusion
Sergio DaSilveira – “Montreal Maroons”
If the Rays move I think that it is inevitable that they move to Montreal; though sadly, I highly doubt they would use the name I proposed. That being said, It is still nice to play around with the idea of such an identity. My goal was to utilize an old classic name with a retro & semi modern treatment. I hope you like it!
Dylan Desimine – “Vancouver Monarchs”
I couldn’t think of a better city for a baseball team than Vancouver (Except maybe Montreal). Purple and gold is risky, but a good way to form an identity quickly in a Blue Jays & Mariners dominated market. The “VM” hat is inspired by an old Vancouver Mounties hat.
Drew Fansler – “New Orleans Brass”
Your recent challenge for new MLB teams got me thinking about one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. The Brass is like its hometown: vintage flair, bold and a little flashy. The hardest part was staying away from that third Mardi Gras color that none of you like (and to be fair, neither do I.)
Alan Filipczak – “Indiana Grays”
The Rays relocate to the Crossroads of America and add a G to their nickname. Like the Colts and Pacers, the new Indy franchise thrives in this small-yet-stable Midwestern market. The Grays have a minimalist aesthetic””with graphite, cream, and white for team colors. The corn cob alternate logo/sleeve patch is inspired by the 1970s Braves’ feather emblem.
Brent Hatfield – “Memphis Rivermen”
The Tampa Bay Rays will locate to Memphis, Tennessee. The Memphis Rivermen of the American League East will start play in the 2016 Major League Baseball season.
The City of Memphis: The greater Memphis metropolitan area, including adjacent counties in Mississippi and Arkansas had a 2010 population of 1,316,100.
The Name Rivermen: Memphis is the largest city on the Mississippi River.
The Colors: River Blue, Defiant Gold, White
Aaron Hill – “Brooklyn Bums”
I write to enter UW’s Rays Design Contest with the Brooklyn Bums – bringing baseball back to NYC’s most populated borough and drawing on days when Willard Mullin’s Brooklyn Bum was the yearbook cover of the Dodgers. NNOB. Pants match the piping of tops. Thanks!
Brady Ivie – “Salt Lake Seagulls”
Here’s my concept for relocating the Rays to Utah, where they would become the Salt Lake Seagulls.
* Sky blue, Vegas gold, and brown
* FSU number font on primary uniforms, Reds number font on alternate/NOB font for all uniforms
* Cream on home uniforms (pinstriped primary, pullover blue Monday “Family Night” alternates)
* Gray primary road, brown alternate road/pitcher’s choice
* Mandatory “Stars and Stripes” 4th of July uniform included
* All hats available at retail, only hats shown with uniforms used on field
* Shoulder patch used only for inaugural season, would be replaced for second season
* “SL” secondary logo colors interchangeable, but blue/gold/brown preferred use
* Indians to AL East, Rangers to AL Central, Rays/Seagulls to AL West
William Kilerlane – “San Antonio Fastdraws”
My team is the San Antonio Fastdraws. Their colors- brown, red & tan with tan visitor uniforms- symbolize the Old West.
William Kilerlane – “Carolina Crocodiles”
My second entry is the Carolina Crocodiles. Their colors are forest green & red/orange with olive drab visitor uniforms. This scheme is meant to depict a tropical look.
Brian Mandel – “O’ahu Tiki”
Why not bring a MLB franchise to the main island. The primary colors are brown and red with accents of black. The number and letter fonts are supposed to recreate wooden planks nailed together that are on fire. It is suppose to have a tribal feel.
Sven Marconi – “Havana Cubanos”
This is the uniform scheme of the Havana Cubanos. There are 5 schemes total:
Grey: This is the “standard” road uni.
Black: This is the road uni worn for series finales on the road.
White: This is the “standard” home uni.
Red: This is the home uni worn for home series finales when the fianale is not on a Sunday,
Burgundy: This is the home uni worn for home Sunday series finales. Unlike other uniforms, there is no high-sock variant- the long pants must be worn by all players. This uniform is based on Florida jai-alai uniforms, and also a Havana uniform displayed at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY.
In the postseason, the red alt is dropped. The scheme is flipped, whereby the finale alts are worn for the first road game and first home game, with the standards worn for all other postseason games.
OK there you have it. Now it’s time to vote: You may vote for up to three designs (and you may vote once per day).
Big thanks to all who submitted, and I’ll be back with the second half of the entries tomorrow. If you like one (or more) — let the submitters know (and lobby for them if you’d like) in the comments below. Thanks also to Scotty Rogers for coming up with the idea for the contest!
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards
I’m pleased to continue with a favorite weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.
Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):
Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko
Previously in Classic Scoreboards we toured past ballparks of the Houston Astros. In this edition we head to north Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth area to visit (Old) Arlington Stadium.
Home of: Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs (1965-71), Texas Rangers (1972-93)
First MLB Game Played: April 21, 1972
Last MLB Game Played: October 3, 1993
Originally known as Turnpike Stadium (1965-1971), Arlington Stadium was home to the Texas Rangers for their first 21 seasons. The ballpark began life as a minor league field in 1965 with just a 10,000 seating capacity. With Rangers arrival the ballpark was expanded to 35,000 sun baked seats, a third were bleachers spanning the entire outfield.
Arlington Stadium unfortunately appears on many “worst ever” lists when rating ballparks. In addition to the blistering heat (most games after May typically forced to play at night), Arlington Stadium was a product of the multi-purpose, doughnut shaped school of ballpark architecture common during the early 70s. Even with an “upper deck” addition in 1978 and refurbishment after the 1983 season, Arlington Stadium never quite overcame the limitations inherent with the ballpark’s minor league bones.
Arlington Stadium’s one distinctive feature was the electronic scoreboard with the prominent state of Texas outline. Located in back of the bleachers in left field, it measured 200 ft. long and 60 ft. high. The scoreboard had messaging capability in addition to displaying the game line score and other AL game scores. After the 1983 season, it was replaced by a wall of Diamond Vision scoreboards ranging across the outfield.
This scoreboard illustration depicts a Rangers victory over the Yankees played on April 30,1983 – a night game of course!
A Few Things to Know
• The scoreboard wasn’t completely constructed for opening day in 1972.
• The American League adopted the (dreadful!) Designated Hitter in 1973, one season after the Rangers move to Arlington. The scoreboard designers (in 1970-71?) were apparently unaware of the possible rule change because the scoreboard electronics were not configured to display “DH” for the team lineups. This is an educated guess based on the scoreboard photos I’ve seen. All have the DH position left blank on the display.
• Arlington Stadium was reportedly the first major league ballpark to sell nachos back in 1974. Maybe so, but more interesting is the actual origin of nachos.
If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at Classicscoreboards@gmail.com.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: The Buffalo Bisons have their Star Wars night next Saturday, 7/18. “As a manager there I can looking forward to seeing that motley collection of people dressed up in all sorts of characters,” writes Matthew Wilcott. “Anyway, the jerseys this year are Jedi-robed themed which completely beats last years odd and overwhelming R2D2 unis. Recently the team put out a link with all of the jerseys for Star Wars night since they began the even in 2009.” … I think we reported on this before, but just in case: The Atlantic League set to introduce red, white and blue baseballs (h/t Phil Rossi). … Here’s a look at A.J. Burnett’s custom-made Batman cleats from 3N2 he will wear at the All-Star Game next week (via Harry M.). … In preparation for the All Star Game, here’s what Cincinnati’s Carew Tower in downtown Cincinnati looked like Thursday evening (from Frank Bitzer). … Nice piece from Todd Radom on the best and worst of the All Star Game visuals. … This is pretty brutal (from Jason Felicio), who writes, “Pretty funny gaffe with grammar on ESPN advertising the all-star hats. Thought you may want to see.” … Reader Michael Kemezis works as an archivist for an engineering university in Worcester, MA, Worcester Polytechnic Institute. They have a great sports photo collection which no one seems to know about. “Just wondering if we could get a quick shout out in the ticker for our Flash Back Friday post featuring the 1929 WPI Baseball team.” … Beautiful photo from Bruce Menard of JFK and Stan Musial chatting at the All-Star Game (Washington, D.C. 7/10/62). … Speaking of DC baseball and All Star Games, here’s a look back at some of those games (good find by John Muir). … This is cool: check out how the video board will look during Game 1 (Back) & 2 (Future) of tomorrow’s ‘Back to the Future’ DH for the Toledo Mud Hens (h/t Dylan Cramer). … The Pirates are selling these at the team’s store @ PNC. He was the guy who got trapped (h/t Mike Slavonic). … Here’s one for Paul: check out the stirrups on the Indians Francisco Lindor from last evening (via Cody The Chicken). — Several players went with red ‘rups, which was a Jim Thome tribute (via ”@ObieMassillon). Not everyone played along (you can see more photos from the game here). … On Saturday, July 18th, the Fresno Grizzlies will be wearing Tequila Sunrise jerseys (and giving away a bunch to fans too). Thanks to Jared Buccola.
NFL/College/Football News: Someone has gone to the trouble of ranking the best five Rutgers football uniforms. … Ohhhh, check out this photo of Ken Stabler at Alabama with the “Snake” designation on Stabler’s hip pad (nice spot by Karl NewKirk). … Here’s a great photo of Fred Biletnikoff, sent in by Bob Vaught, who adds, “Back when jersey costs were significant.” … I think we may have noted this before, but it looks like the Iowa State Cyclones have longer UCLA stripes this year (via CyclONE Nation). … Virginia has some new Nike gloves (from Matthew Althoff). … Tweeter Ryan Campbell asks, “Impact sensors? Every player on San Jose’s Arena Football Team has one.”
NBA/Basketball News: Elk Mound High School was asked to remove its gym floor design that was modeled after the Milwaukee Bucks logo, according to Elk Mound Superintendent Ron Walsh (from Don Schauf). … Here’s a look at the Orlando Magic Summer League caps (from Dave Doop). … If you ever wondered what the NBA would look like with football helmets, you’re in luck. … A Redditor has created a GIF Showing Evolution of Every NBA Team’s Logo (thanks to Andrew Rader). … According to SI, Nike style will permeate basketball from head to toe.
Hockey News: Tweeter J. Walker was checking out Google Images (which he loves), and notes that one stumbles on the strangest of things. Case in point: Check out this images of two guys in Winnipeg Jets uniforms (the original ones) in what appears to be a magazine of some sort (with lots of ads). Anyone know more? “Pokey & The Bandit”?
Soccer News: The Beach Soccer World Cup began Thursday, notes Saurel Jean. However yesterday’s matchups had some notable uniform news. “Brazil seems to have stitched over the 5 stars of the to display their own 4 BSWC wins. Russia added two stars for their back-to-back beach soccer championships.” … Polish side Wisla Krakow SA unveiled their new uniforms yesterday (thanks to Ed Å»elaski).
Grab Bag: “Tour de France leader Tony Martin wasn’t able to start Friday’s stage 7 after breaking his collarbone Thursday,” notes Sean Clancy. “But new race leader Chris Froome did not wear the yellow jersey Friday as Martin was still considered to be in the race until the start of stage 7.” … Here’s a look at the new World Cup rugby jersey for Uruguay (from Eric Bangeman). … Just exactly what is this sock? According to Mafia News, they are “5 Water Socks,” — water resistant socks. The socks use patent-pending RainArmorâ„¢ technology for water resistance and breathability. … Interesting article entitled, “Historians say fleur de lis has troubled history.” Submitter Nolan Jones asks, “Where does it end? Any chance this makes a movement to change the Saints?” … Did you ever wonder why female beach volleyball players wear bikinis? Wonder no more. … “Here’s a cool longform interview with the costume designer of the 1988 film Coming to America,” says Mike Chamernik. “The woman, Deborah Landis, had to create the traditional garb of a fictional African nation.” … Brendan Gaughan went with a
red Green Bay Packers helmet in last night’s NASCAR Xfinity race (via Blake Hatfield). Turns out it’s actually a Bishop Gorman helmet (h/t XFINITY Racing). … Now that Michigan is going back to Nike, here are a couple of recent blog posts regarding which shade of yellow should be the official “maize” (from Steve Ceruolo).
That’s going to do it for today, folks. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to cast your vote(s) for Part I of the Redesigning the Rays contest. Again, big thanks to all who submitted, to Scott for the idea, and also to Gary for the Scoreboards. Hope everyone has a great day. As for me, a bit of reflection, introspection and sadness, as today marks the 4th anniversary of my father’s passing. Miss ya Pop!
I’ll be back tomorrow with the second half of the Contest, so make sure you check back then!
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“The UCLA jersey style doesn’t remind me of tire tread. More like the razor wire you see atop prison fences.”