Good morning, Uni Watch readers. I hope everyone had a good week. Did anything uni-related happen this week?
I’m back again today with Matthew Drake who has embarked on a project he’s calling the “MLB Multiverse.” If you missed either of the first two posts, you can click here for Volume I and click here for Volume II. As in Volume II, I’ve included Matthew’s introduction from his introductory post below, so you don’t have to click on Volume I or II for an explainer. As in Volumes I and II, for each “what if” I’ve included the new “home” jersey inline, with road and additional alternates in the gallery beneath. Enjoy!
You can follow Matthew @MJD7Design on the Twitter, and check out his progress on this project as well!
MLB Multiverse, Volume III
by Matthew Drake
I call this series “MLB Multiverse,” it’s essentially collection of “what-ifs”: either relocations of MLB teams that very nearly happened, or what certain teams would possibly look like if they never relocated in the first place.
Obviously referential of Marvel’s recent cinematic dealings with the concept of the “multiverse,” another way of thinking about this is that these teams do in fact exist in an alternate universe, where their respective relocation deals followed through to completion.
The series was heavily inspired by user @SFGiants58’s legendary “MLB: The Defunct Saga” series on the sportslogos.net boards, as well as logo/uniform legend Todd Radom’s “Phantom Franchise” segment on Buster Olney’s podcast.
I created over 60 (!) different alternate-universe teams in this series, my biggest series ever by far. It was fun and exciting to try and flex my creative muscles a bit more beyond simply fixing up the 30 big league teams. I hope you enjoy seeing these designs as much as I enjoyed creating them!
What if… the Athletics relocated to Atlanta?
Charlie O. wanted to move the A’s to Atlanta in 1964, but was rejected by AL owners due to fears about travel costs. Inspired by the Hawks, green is replaced by red for a more “Atlanta” color scheme.
What if… the Twins relocated to Charlotte?
Twins’ owner Carl Pohlad was having issues with getting the struggling team a new stadium in the 90’s, so Carolina businessmen tried to lure them to move. Purple & teal was all the rage at the time, matching the Hornets.
What if… the Pirates relocated to Denver?
Finances, attendance, and quality of play were all down in 1985, so the Pirates owner expressed that he was interested in selling the team to a Denver group. Black & gold is so entrenched in Pittsburgh, so I replaced gold with purple.
What if… the Athletics relocated to Milwaukee?
After A’s owner “Charlie O.” was denied moving to Atlanta in 1964, the Schlitz Brewing Company tried to buy the team in a majority stake, but he refused. Football fans will likely recognize the striping pattern on the sleeves.
What if… the Browns relocated to Milwaukee (and changed their name)?
Once the Busch family bought the Cardinals, Browns owner Bill Veeck knew he couldn’t keep his team in St. Louis, so he tried to move to Milwaukee in 1954, but it was blocked by AL owners. The wordmarks have a bit of Orioles flair.
What if… the Browns relocated to Milwaukee?
This is the same premise as my original Browns → Milwaukee design, just if they kept their name. Brown is paired with gold for this version.
What if… Cleveland’s baseball team relocated to New Orleans?
In 1971, a report surfaced that the team agreed to play 30 games a season in NOLA for 20 years (!), starting in 1974. I figured if the team ever moved there full-time, they’d snag the “Pelicans” name before the NBA.
What if… the White Sox relocated to New Orleans?
Prospective buyer of the team in 1980, Edward DeBartolo Sr., hinted that he might move the team to New Orleans if he got the chance. Gold accents are added to the team’s black & white palette to align with the Saints.
What if… the Rays relocate to Orlando?
This one is unlikely, but “Orlando City Baseball Dreamers” founder Pat Williams has said he would welcome discussions with the Rays to move there. This set was the perfect opportunity for me to try out the 90’s gradient full-time.
What if… the Browns remained in St. Louis?
The Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954 and became the Orioles, but what if they didn’t? It’d feel weird for a St. Louis team to not have red in their color palette, even in an alternate universe.
What if… the Twins relocated to Tampa Bay?
A TB group bought a minority stake in the Twins, but once word got out, a “ticket buyout” ensued to boost attendance numbers and keep the team in Minnesota. Navy & light blue, colors the Twins have used, are now the primary scheme.
What if… the White Sox relocated to Tampa Bay?
The Sox were minutes away from moving to what is now Tropicana Field, but an after-midnight vote that won by one kept them in Chicago. Leaked t-shirts showed the team considered going with a forest green & orange color palette.
What if… the Pirates relocated to Washington (and changed their name)?
They considered it twice in the 80’s and 90’s. This was the perfect opportunity to honor the Homestead Grays, a Negro League team that played home games in both Pittsburgh and Washington in their history.
What if… the Astros relocated to Washington (and changed their name)?
This is me trying to make the best of the previously covered “Virginia Fury” move, where the Astros instead move to DC proper. This allows for the space theme to remain but with a more patriotic twist.
What if… the Padres relocated to Washington (and changed their name)?
This one is the same premise as my original Padres → DC design, just if they changed their name to another one they considered, the “Stars.”
Once again, thanks Matthew! Really fun series of “what if’s” — I knew some of these proposed relocations, but a bunch of them have been a revelation. Nice job.
Readers? What say you?