It seems like many off-seasons have themes when it comes to Minor League Baseball team rebranding, and 2018 is shaping up to be The Year Of The Fish.
The Gwinnett Braves (AAA; International League) announced on December 8 that they were becoming the Gwinnett Stripers. It’s a big change for the club which had been the Braves since 1966.
After over 900 names and 4,024 submissions, the Big Mouths was eventually declared the winner and the team settled on the Stripers as the marketable version of that name.
“We felt focusing on the striped bass would better reflect our community, with Lake Lanier known as a premier destination for striped bass fishing and located just a short drive away from Coolray Field,” Stripers vice president and general manager North Johnson said during the brand unveiling in December. “The Stripers name perfectly fits the region while also have a timeless baseball feel.”
The team kept the navy and red Braves color scheme and added green to represent the striped bass.
Just a few days after Gwinnett’s announcement, the Tampa Yankees (High A; Florida State League) announced they were becoming the Tampa Tarpons. It’s a nod to Tampa’s long baseball history and a nod to the Tarpons who played in the Florida State League from 1957 to 1987. The principal colors will be Legends Navy, Tarpon Silver, and Gulf Blue. The Yankees’ affiliate will also keep its pinstriped uniform, with the addition of the tarpon of course.
“We have great fans in Tampa,” Tarpons GM Vance Smith said in a press statement in December. “This is Tampa’s team and this name and brand identity honor the community and celebrate Tampa’s rich baseball history.”
In late January, branding for the Greeneville Reds (Rookie; Appalachian League) was unveiled. This came as the Cincinnati Reds announced that they would take the place of the Houston Astros, who brought an end to the Greeneville Astros following the 2017 season. Like the Greeneville Astros, the Greeneville Reds will play their home games at Pioneer Park.
In addition to the new names, the offseason has also yielded some interesting primary logo changes.
The Hudson Valley Renegades (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) released updated logos and branding on December 5.
“We are very excited to introduce this new look to Renegades fans and partners all throughout the Hudson Valley,” said Renegades executive vice President and General Manager Even Yager in a press statement. “The new look includes our present team colors of Dutchess blue, black, and gray, and provides a few new logos in the set as well as revised versions of those that our fans have been familiar with throughout the years.”
Studio Simon in Louisville, Kentucky helped create the new logo identity system and created the Renegades’ 25th anniversary logo. This new branding will carry over into the team uniforms included an updated version of the primary cap that will now have the whites of the raccoon eyes glow in the dark.
On December 6, the Augusta GreenJackets (Low A; Sally League) unveiled their new logos. The new logos are an homage to the region’s golf history, and will include a vintage cap and a new Augusta A with GreenJacket “Auggie” wings. The GreenJackets also unveiled their new custom team plaid pattern and are the only professional baseball team with their own plaid pattern. The new logos were unveiled ahead of the debut of the team’s upcoming new ballpark, SRP Park, which will open in April.
This article first appeared in the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter. Are you a subscriber? It’s free, and you’ll see features like this before they appear on the Web. Go here to subscribe to the Ballpark Digest newsletter.