Here’s a pretty good sign that we’re heading back to normal in the baseball world, as we’re seeing plenty of 2023 MiLB alt brandings on tap. Here’s a roundup of some of the more notable releases.
This might get you beaten up in some northern cities, but not to the east: When a snowstorm hits any city in this part of the country, residents know they must prepare for the worst–including how to keep their parking space safe when having to leave to go to work, the store, etc. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple-A; International League) are commemorating the practice with a logo and merchandise featuring the phenomenon and announced plans to honor or jilt those neighbors, friends and acquaintances we commonly refer to as “Space Savers” permanently.
In addition, the IronPigs on Friday, April 21 at 7:05 p.m., will actually change their name to become the “Space Savers,” honoring the ever-feisty tradition of people using any sort of tangible objects to keep their parking space their own when having to move their vehicle. Any item can qualify for use as a space saver, but common items include parking cones, trash cans and folding chairs.
Space Savers are created by the high demand for and limited supply of parking spaces in any city, especially during the winter months. Residents have to shovel out their car and clear the space for easy entry and exit. If not for Space Savers, another driver could take a shoveled space before one can move their vehicle into that space or return to it safely. Cities such as Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, and even locally with Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton experience residents placing “Space Savers” in place.
“When we receive large amounts of snow it creates a lot of problems within any city for residents who park their cars on the street. When they shovel out their spot, you see people put out chairs, cones, garbage cans, or whatever to hold their spot so no one else can claim it,” said IronPigs President and General Manager Kurt Landes via press release “This promotion recognizes those residents who bravely claim their stake as well as celebrates those who feel space-saving is a horrid tradition unfair to others. Regardless, the IronPigs look forward to fans ‘saving space’ on their calendars to be in attendance on Friday, April 21.”
Space Saver merchandise such as t-shirts, beanie caps and replica jerseys are now available for purchase at shopironpigs.com and in person at The Clubhouse Store at Coca-Cola Park. Fans can pre-order certain Space Saver caps by going to bit.ly/LHVSpaceSavers.
The IronPigs will be wearing “Space Saver” jerseys and caps at the April 21 game and raffling them off during the game with proceeds going to local non-profits. Fireworks will take place after the conclusion of the game.
The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (Single-A; Carolina League) will officially become the Kannapolis Q’s for their three-game, weekend series beginning Friday, May 5.
The Q’s moniker is not only a reference to the iconic food item, but also represents the curly shape of a pig’s tail. The brand also pays tribute to the annual Jiggy with the Piggy festival, which is one of the southeast’s Top 20 Festivals and will be taking place in downtown Kannapolis the same weekend that the team will be playing under their new alternate identity.
Complete with a full set of logos, the team has “cooked” up specialty uniforms that will be worn by players and coaches as they take the field May 5-7. The uniforms start with a black ballcap that featuresa smiling pig mascot, along with a visor, eyelets and button that all utilize the color kelly green, which is a fan-favorite amongst Kannapolis residents. Completing the uniform is a black jersey with the Q’s symbol on the front, and numbers on the back shaded with a “pig-ment” of light pink color.
“We’re fired up because we believe the Q’s brand is smoked to pork-fection,” exclaimed Cannon Ballers General Manager Matt Millward. “Our organization takes pride in having fun and we feel this is the perfect way to celebrate the significance of barbecue in our region and our city’s renowned Jiggy with the Piggy Festival.”
A limited quantity of Kannapolis Q’s merchandise is now available for purchase via the Cannon Ballers website and in-person at the Cannon City Supply Company team store located within Atrium Health Ballpark. While supplies last, the team has also launched an online presale for the authentic New Era cap that will be worn by the players this May. More information on exclusive Q’s merchandise can be found be visiting kcballers.milbstore.com.
The Arkansas Travelers (Double-A, Texas League) will change names, create an alter ego, and rebrand the franchise for one week during the 2023 season. Paying homage to the state’s fondness for the outdoors and waterfowl hunting, the Travelers will become the Mad Mallards for the entire six game series from August 1-6.
A mallard is a common species of wild duck found throughout the state of Arkansas and frequently hunted during the winter months. The male species of the mallard is commonly recognized by its glossy green head and white ring around the neck. While “duck season” runs outside of the baseball season, the Travelers are excited to celebrate this great Arkansas tradition and hope all fans will heed the call of the mallard and come to Dickey-Stephens Park to join in on the fun.
The rebranding will include a new, temporary logo of a mallard head as well as jerseys and hats featuring the colors of dark green and orange. The marks were created by Little Rock-based branding firm Eric Rob & Isaac.
Promotions throughout Mad Mallards week will be duck and hunting themed, allowing fans to quack their way in on the fun. Shirts, hats and other merchandise for fans will also be available in the Travelers Team Store at a date to be announced later.
We’ll see two alt brandings from the Altoona Curve (Double-A; Eastern League) this season. First, the Curve will once again suit up as the Allegheny Yinzers for every Sunday home game in the 2023 season except August 13, presented by Keller Engineers. The Yinzers will kick off on Sunday, April 23 against the Bowie Baysox with a special Yinzer Rally Towel Giveaway to the first 1,000 fans, presented by Lakeview Sheds & Vinyl Products.
This transformation comes with a refreshed Yinzers uniform look that features the black and gold color schemes of Pittsburgh. In the Curve’s final Sunday home game on September 10 against the Harrisburg Senators, fans can place their bids on the game-worn and autographed jerseys via the LiveSource app with proceeds benefiting American Rescue Workers. Fans can purchase a special Sunday ticket package to catch every Yinzers game in 2023.
In August, the Curve will recognize Altoona’s very own slice of Italy with a week-long rebrand as the Altoona Pizzas from August 8–13 against the Erie SeaWolves. Inspired by the original Altoona Hotel recipe that has gone viral, the uniforms will feature a true Altoona Pizza design, packed with tomato sauce, sliced green bell peppers, salami and American cheese all topped on a Sicilian-style pizza dough base.
The Charleston Dirty Birds (Atlantic League) announce their Latin identity, Pájaros Sucios de Charleston, to be played on five Thursdays during the 2023 season, celebrating Charleston’s Latin Community along with Latin players on the Dirty Birds’ 2023 roster.
“This is an amazing addition to our 2023 promotional lineup. We’re excited to be able to celebrate the local Latin community throughout the season,” said Dirty Birds’ General Manager Jeremy Taylor via press release
The Pájaros Sucios is a Day of the Dead-themed evolution of the original Dirty Birds mascot. The logo retains the blue eyes and orange beak, and the headlamp now features a candle, symbolic of the traditions that make the Day of the Dead the cultural icon it is. The name, Pájaros Sucios, translates to ‘Dirty Birds’ in Spanish.
The idea of the Dirty Birds’ Latin Identity originated from Minor League Baseball’s Copa de la Diversion (“Fun Cup”). This is the first year the Dirty Birds will introduce their Latin Identity, and the team will wear specially designed jerseys and hats for each of these games featuring the Pájaros Sucios name and logo.
“Creating a promotional element that involves the celebration of the Latin Community within the game of baseball has been a huge part of this process,” said Manager of Entertainment Eden Douglas via press release. “We wish to celebrate all members of the Latin Community and highlight those in Charleston as well as the members of our roster.”