The Atlantic League team in Lexington, Ky., which debuted in 2001 as the Lexington Legends, will have a new identity this year, as the team announced yesterday that it will henceforth be known as the Counter Clocks.
The idea behind the name is explained in the team’s press release:
Traditionally, horses in England raced around a grass track in a clockwise direction. However, declaring independence from the British way, early Kentuckians began to race their horses in the opposite direction – counter-clockwise – and on dirt. The world – and baseball – ultimately followed Kentucky’s lead.
I have to say, I kind of love this. I’d never heard that bit about Kentucky changing the direction of horse racing. For that matter, I don’t think it had even occurred to me that horses always race in the same direction! It’s a very Uni Watch detail, and this team’s new name has taught me about it. I like that!
The team released three new logos yesterday. One is the ballplayer/horse design shown above. Another plays on the “Counter Clocks” name by introducing a anthropomorphized clock character named Dinger:
Note that Dinger’s is showing the time to be about nine o’clock — or maybe 8:59, which happens to be Lexington’s area code. (There’s no mention of that in the press release, but it seems like too big of a coincidence to be accidental.)
You may have noticed that both logos include a ballcap with a backwards “C.” That brings us to the third logo that was released yesterday:
It’s all a bit awkward, but in a way that I find charming, at least for a minor league team. And it’s certainly better than the utterly characterless “Lexington Legends.”
The team could have taken the “Dinger” character a step further by putting the numbers on the clockface in a counterclockwise order — swap the 11 with the 1, the 10 with the 2, etc. Otherwise, I love the history incorporated into the redesign.
They also could have made him an alarm clock with bells.
Two of England’s most famous races are counter-clockwise — the Epsom Derby and the Grand National Steeplechase.
Many of the UK’s race courses for horses are, oddly, not oval tracks. Some are these odd jagged paths through the woods that they just built stands for spectators.
That third logo has some serious “radial flip” issue. :-)
Guy on the horse has some Chief Wahoo-ish teeth in that grimace.
I got more of a U of L cardinal mouth vibe. Which is weird, because 1) Cardinals don’t have teeth, and 2) Lexington and Louisville are rivals.
I’ll miss the Lexington name and colors, but good gosh did that team need to find some kind of character or story to anchor the identity. There was just nothing beyond “moustache on a hat” to the old identity. I kind of hate the “Counterclocks” name, but everything about the visual work they’ve shown us has been clever and fun in a way nothing about the Legends ever was.
It was such a product of that time. The hipster mustache as an entire identity and the “non-logo costume hat” a la the lake Elsinore storm (among others). But I wouldn’t have minded if they nodded to that era by making the clock “hands” a mustache. Of course then the time couldn’t be 8:59 as the area code reference, even though the time reads closer to 9:01 because of sloppy artwork
I think Dinger would be better if he was happy! If an anthropomorphic clock can’t be smiling, what can?
In the logo at the top of the page with the player riding a horse, the horse is actually running clockwise, right?
If he’s running down the backstretch, he’s running counterclockwise.
I knew I was missing something. Thank you!
This whole situation feels very “phantom tollbooth”. I love a lot of it but the logos (like many minor league logos lately) need some refinement.
Off topic: with the World Baseball Classic starting, Japanese people are watching Ohtani’s every move, and his batting practice session was televised.
At 4:47, you can see that the batting practice pitcher is wearing number 102, and another person sitting down is number 103 (visible on his sleeve). With all the available numbers on the WBC rosters, I’m surprised that these staffers continued to use the crazy numbers that they use in NPB. They must have gotten attached to them!
Good for a few games per season like those food themes with other minor league teams, but not for a total identity overhaul. I like the graphics but the name is clunky. Could have held the Legends name and adding these graphics and story. But I understand the need for change after having been ousted from the MiLB reshuffle. Still: Legends with Dinger and Hoss and a nice stylized L with a moustache on the hat and presto.
I was wondering if there was significance to the 9:00/8:59, but I wonder if that’s just coincidence. The primary purpose seems to be just making a triangle nose for Dinger.
I think it could also be an “L” for Lexington, but like the “C” they just reversed it.
Interesting how Dinger is a left-handed hitter when most “hitting logos” (to my immediate memory) are righties. Guess it plays off the team’s counter vibe. -C.
The “visual identity” has a charmingly vintage feel. Dinger feels like he could’ve been an illustration from like 1961. I mean that as a compliment.
Pretty much everyone in Lexington hates the rebrand. In my opinion the name is too contrived and requires too much explanation. Also I hate that they ditched the blue/green color scheme to become one of a million blue/red teams. I do like the new logos generally speaking, but that’s about it. The Legends name wasn’t great and I was fine with changing it, but this is an all-around failure of a rebrand to me.
Holy cow, I love this! What an upgrade to such a generic and meaningless name like “Legends”.