Good Saturday morning, Uni Watchers, and a Happy Armistice/Veterans Day to all. If you (or a member of your family) has served, thank you for all your hard work, dedication and service to our country. Please remember this holiday originally marked the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, which took effect at eleven in the morning — the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. The “War to end all wars” of course did not, but let us keep striving towards that goal.
Today, I’m joined once again by Matthew Drake, who has embarked on a project he’s calling the “MLB Multiverse,” which is now entering its sixth part. If you missed any of the first five posts, you can click here for Volume I, click here for Volume II, click here for Volume III, click here for Volume IV, and click here for Volume V. As in previous posts, I’ve included Matthew’s introduction from his introductory post below, so you don’t have to click on Volumes I through V for an explainer. And as in previous volumes, 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/X.
by Matthew Drake
I call this series “MLB Multiverse.” It’s essentially a 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!
In 1949, Boston Braves owner Lou Perini made a failed bid to move his team to Baltimore before working out a deal with the City of Milwaukee. I wanted to incorporate the Maryland flag a bit more with this iteration.
MLB told representatives in Buffalo that they would get the Senators franchise if their dome could be built, but it fell through & the team moved to Texas.
During the 1958 Winter Meetings, the executive secretary of the Houston Sports Association made a $5 million offer to purchase the team and move them to Houston. This was a good opportunity to go with the name “Colts.”
After Browns owner Philip Ball passed away in 1933, two Montreal business moguls expressed interest in buying and moving the team there. I paired brown with a color the Expos used tangentially on their uniforms in powder blue.
This is the same premise as my original Browns → Montreal design, but if they decided to beat Kansas City to the punch with “Royals.” I went with purple because of its association with the British crown.
This one is a bit too conspiratorial for my tastes, but: In 2014, an article alleged that the Wilpons were conspiring to move the team to Montreal so they could use Citi Field’s land for mixed-use development.
It was largely publicized that the Rays at least considered splitting home games between Montreal & Tampa. I combined the Rays’ fauxback aesthetic with the Expos brand.
Louis Angelos, son of owner Peter Angelos, is reportedly suing his brother John (and his mother, Georgia), accusing him of wanting to move the team to Tennessee, where he has a home.
A Tampa City Council member said that Rays president Brian Auld told him that relocating to Nashville might be a possibility. It seems the team would be the “Stars,” which keeps 3 of the 4 letters of the old name.
In 1971, with speculation that the Yankees might share Shea with the Mets, Mets chairman M. Donald Grant responded that he’d recommend moving the team to Jersey if this happened. Instead of NYC flag colors, I went with NJ flag colors.
In 1987, Mr. Steinbrenner met with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to discuss moving the Yankees to a new complex in the Meadowlands.
New Orleans pitched the Yanks to move south in the late 70’s, but negotiations broke down before they really began. I wasn’t forced to settle on a new name for the team, but I suppose “Cajuns” could work.
Along with Buffalo, New Orleans was prepared to swoop in if the Montreal deal fell through. I once again went with the name “Pelicans,” and used the New Orleans “Baby Cakes” font throughout the design.
Along with the Pirates, William Shea tried to lure the Phillies to the Big Apple, to no avail. Obviously the name “Phillies” wouldn’t work in NY, so “Mets” works as a replacement that still ties back to the city.
This is the same premise as my original Rays → Orlando design, but if they changed their name to the group campaigning to get a team there, the “Dreamers.” I based the color scheme off of the stadium renderings.
Readers? What say you?