Last evening the Triple A affiliate of the New York Yankees revealed a new name and logo for the 2013 season. The team formerly known as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees wanted its own identity and after a fan contest came up with the RailRiders. Prior to their affiliation with the Yankees, the team was known as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons and were affiliated with the Phillies.
This is not a bad choice of names, however not the one I selected. Back in August there was a contest to name the team and I submitted Black Diamonds to represent the coal industry in the area. I knew it wasn’t the greatest name but hey it was worth a shoot. I did after all name one of the Century 21 mascots several years ago (a bird named Nestor).
The name finalists that fans selected from were Black Diamond Bears (boy was I close), Trolley Frogs, Fireflies, Blast, Porcupines and RailRiders. I voted for Fireflies. Can you imagine the logo and uniform possibilities? Light up hats! Awesome.
Anything is an upgrade from the Yankees name and logo, so let’s breakdown the name & logo.
Serviceable. Again much better than the Yankees but it doesn’t draw you in the way Fireflies or Trolley Frogs would have. I think this was a conservative approach, not bad but not great.
A quick look at the top selling minor league merchandise shows a variety of attention grabbing names, including: Hooks, Grasshoppers, BlueClaws, Iron Pigs, Flying Squirrels and Pelicans. We will see the longevity of the RailRiders name.
Very conservative approach. While the RailRiders wanted to keep the Yankee blue tradition (its actually the name of the blue color along with electric gold and rich maroon) it seems rather dark. Kids today are looking for vibrant colors that stand out i.e. Miami Marlins, Seattle Seahawks or Oregon Ducks.
I think the merchandise will sell well locally, I will pick something up when I attend a game next year, but I don’t expect to see much of it outside Lackawana County.
I do like the thought of a porcupine included in the logo, though the menacing animal approach seems to gone the way of the 1990’s.
Not sure what the team was going for here. The RailRiders press release indicates “Our new identity also honors NEPA’s rich baseball history with the interlocking SWB mark.” To me the maroon hat seems to be more fitting for the Arizona State Sun Devils look and navy hat reminds me more of King Neptune or Thor.
The RailRiders have a few interesting items in their store such as those shown below. Click here to view their full selection . But nothing ground breaking or needs to be on an Xmas list.
Uninspiring but serviceable A team has an opportunity to really add some excitement to its brand, but the RailRiders went the safe route. Grade C.
Let’s only hope the new Reading Phillies identity is much more exciting (come back on Sunday for review).
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre baseball team logo history