Good Saturday morning, Uni Watchers, I hope everyone has had a good week. The bout of the flu I had last weekend really did a number on me, and I was pretty much out of commission this whole past week. I’m definitely on the mend but this was brutal. I hope you guys all
were smarter than I got a flu and/or COVID shot this winter.
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 seventh part. If you missed any of the first six posts, you can click here for Volume I, click here for Volume II, click here for Volume III, click here for Volume IV, click here for Volume V, and click here for Volume VI. 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 VI 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!
What if… the Cardinals relocated to Baltimore?
After the Federal League collapsed in 1916, Baltimore Terrapins owners tried to purchase the Cards, but the deal was rejected. I went with a red, black, & gold scheme inspired by Maryland’s flag.
What if… the Cardinals relocated to Baltimore (and changed their name)?
This is the same Cardinals → Baltimore premise, but if they changed the name to the Orioles, which would have historical precedence, with the team that eventually became the Yankees.
What if… the Red Sox “remained” in Buffalo?
In 1901, AL founder Byron Johnson had promised Buffalo a new franchise before snubbing the city and awarding Boston a second MLB team instead. The red, white, & blue scheme recalls the Buffalo Bisons & the city’s NFL team.
What if… the Cardinals relocated to Houston (and changed their name)?
This is the same premise as my original Cardinals → Houston design, but if they instead kept the name of their Minor League club, the Houston Buffaloes (or “Buffs”).
What if… the (Athletics, Pirates, or Twins) relocated to Indianapolis?
Arthur Angotti led a group working to bring MLB to Indy in the mid-80’s: the A’s, Pirates & Twins were up for sale. They would’ve been named the “Arrows,” & had the benefit of prototype logos & uniforms.
What if… the Cowboys remained in Kansas City?
The Cowboys (or “Blues”) existed until 1901 when they moved to Washington and became the Senators, who eventually became the Twins. Brown & Longhorn burnt orange felt like a fitting color scheme for this team.
What if… the Cardinals relocated to Milwaukee (and changed their name)?
This is the same premise as my original Cardinals → Milwaukee design, but if they changed their name to the Brewers. The uniforms are inspired by the American Association team.
What if… the Expos relocated to Milwaukee (and changed their name)?
Along with Buffalo, one of the backup cities if Montreal didn’t work out was Milwaukee. The “ball-in-glove” logo was a fitting substitute for the Expos’ logo.
What if… the White Sox relocate to Nashville?
The city & the team haven’t had discussions, but the two have been linked due to the Sox’ stadium lease expiring in 6 years and Nashville being a prime candidate for a team. I added red to harken back to previous Sounds’ looks.
What if… the Pirates relocated to New York?
After losing the Dodgers & Giants in 1957, NY lawyer William Shea tried to lure the Pirates to move, but was rejected. Since the Pirates use the colors of Pittsburgh’s flag, it made sense to switch the colors to NYC’s flag.
What if… the Expos relocated to Norfolk (and changed their name)?
Before settling on DC, the Expos also considered Norfolk for their relocation. I combined the Tides’ 1993-2006 identity with the current color scheme and Expos-inspired fonts and logos.
What if… the Marlins relocated to Norfolk?
Along with Vegas and San Antonio, the Marlins looked at a possible move to Norfolk in 2006. I went with the Minor League “Tides” name, which worked well with the aquatic theme & shares a similar color scheme.
What if… the Tigers relocated to Pittsburgh?
After the Western League became the American League in 1901, the Tigers were rumored to move to Pittsburgh before a new National Agreement was reached in 1903. The Pittsburgh black & gold translates well to a team named the Tigers.
What if… the Marlins relocated to San Antonio?
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said publicly in 2006 that talks with San Antonio were “serious,” but it was still likely a ploy to get a new stadium in Miami. Using the “Missions” name & combining it with “Fiesta” colors made sense.
What if… the Athletics relocated to Washington?
In 1977 Charlie O. accused the Commissioner of plotting to switch the A’s to the NL and move them to DC, which he admitted had been considered. The red white & blue of the Kansas City A’s would work well in the nation’s capital.
Once again, thanks Matt! Yet another fun series of “what if’s” — it’s hard to believe there have been so many of these. And there will be a Part VIII coming, as Matthew has received a bunch of recommendations for other teams to do. He adds, “I have since finished the series, but I have 1 volume left.”
Readers? What say you?