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April 11, 2020 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ten most excellent minor league logos


4/11 Cup of Coffee: So, some ground rules to start out. First off, in the interests of eliminating bias and hurt feelings, no Boston affiliates are going to be considered here. Next, this isn’t meant to be a design critique – instead, it’s more a discussion on how the nickname fits with the overall oeuvre of the franchise. A good-looking logo that doesn’t match the team or that goes with a boring or try-hard nickname isn’t going to fly. Finally, while I've chose ten, these aren't necessarily a Top Ten, just ten I thought were fun and wanted to say something about. So, here we go, ten great minor league name/logo combinations, listed in no particular order. 


Amarillo Sod Poodles
Regional colloquialism as a team name? Check. Adorable animal attempting to be menacing in the logo? Check. A name you can’t say without smiling? Double check. A “sod poodle” is apparently a local term for a prairie dog, and the Texas League’s franchise is the one that connects the best among the new absurd team names.

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Toledo Mud Hens
Speaking of the absurd minor league team name, this is the progenitor of the entire genre. If someone came up with the name “Mud Hens” for some new Toledo franchise, the comments section would be ablaze. But the passage of time and some help from Corporal Klinger have made the Mud Hens synonymous with their city. Fun fact, until researching this post, I believed the Mud Hen was a type of duck. However, it turns out they are coots, distant relatives of ducks. The more you know. 

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Hillsboro Hops
I feel like there’s not a whole lot of explanation needed here. But beyond the obvious? That’s a sharp color scheme, strong alliteration that feels more easy than forced, and a logo that looks great on an adorable baby onesie. 

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Erie SeaWolves
If you’re going to go the intimidating route, it needs to scream “that’s something I don’t want to mess with.” Wolves, pirates, and Erie, PA (and Lake Erie in general, for that matter) are all things you definitely do not want to mess with. 

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Chattanooga Lookouts
Reasonable people can disagree on exactly how foolish the MILB contraction idea is, ranging from “I get it in principle but a lot of wrong things are in this” to “why do the people who run baseball so hate baseball games?” What everyone agrees about is that whoever included the Chattanooga Lookouts on that list should be flogged. 


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Everett AquaSox
I want to watch a game with this dude. Also, the subtle inclusion of the old Mariners trident logo placed sideways as the E is outstanding attention to detail. 

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Fort Wayne TinCaps
There’s a bit to unpack here. The logo and name are a reference to Johnny Appleseed who spent the later part of life in Fort Wayne. Part of the legend is that he wore a cooking pot on his head like a cap, so that much is straightforward. This is more than that, though. This is an apple wearing a cooking pot on its head, with a sapling growing out of the pot. If that wasn’t enough, there’s something unsettling about his glare. The smile is disarming, but those eyes? Lot of mischief going on here. I like it.  

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Hartford Yard Goats
Goats will eat anything, so a goat chomping on a baseball bat was a good call. Construction delays pushed back New England’s newest franchise as they moved up the road from New Britain, but the wait has been worth it; the stadium and atmosphere at the Hartford ballground are worth checking out when we get that chance again. 

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Durham Bulls
It is impossible to separate the Bulls from the movie, not that anyone with taste would have a reason to. Extra points for having one of the best fanbases in minor league baseball, and for very frequently outdrawing their affiliated MLB team. It has got to be something of a letdown to go from playing at the D-BAP to the dreary Trop. 


 
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