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Old 08-29-2019, 07:49 PM   #1
Ruwisc
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Plausible MLB expansion teams



Instead of my original plan for this thread, I've expanded it to include 30 all-new teams that might fit into your MLB expansion plans. The teams shown on the map above are already done and can be found below.

Cities left:
Austin, Buffalo, Charlotte, Columbus, Hartford, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Louisville, Memphis, Newark, Reno, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Tucson, Vancouver

More cities will probably be included once these 30 are complete, but these are my plans for now.

--------

This year my main solo league is a hyper-expanded version of MLB (60 teams), which has necessitated a bunch of logos and uniforms that look like they blend in with the modern major leagues, and it fell to me to make the last handful since I didn't see exactly what I was looking for. I don't think this is gonna be a really long thread (10-12 teams probably, in no particular order), but hopefully one or some of these will be of use to somebody out there trying to do a semi-realistic expansion of MLB. Without further ado, here are the first two teams...


INDIANAPOLIS ROUNDERS
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Indy is not really one of the cities on the doorstep of MLB expansion or relocation, but from my perspective that's just a problem of location - the Midwest is fairly saturated for baseball at the moment, with the Cubs, White Sox, Cardinals, Reds, Brewers and Indians all not too far away. I wouldn't expect the 31st or 32nd team in MLB to be there, but they would crack the list eventually, so if you want to expand your league up to, say, 36, this is a good city to go to.

I have always struggled with naming teams in Indiana, so when I thought of this name I jumped at the chance. For the first few years of this save, they were the uninspired Indianapolis Maroons - I kept the same shade of maroon and added a lot of black to go with. There are a few reasons why I like the name Rounders here:

- it's vaguely reminiscent of the city's history of auto racing without explicitly referencing it; wheels are round, and the cars go 'round and 'round really fast. (No one would accuse this name of being complicated. ) Using a name like Racers, which everyone has tried - myself included, featuring a god-awful checkerboard uniform - has never produced a concept that I actually like, and it sounds too similar to the Pacers (who are also in reference to auto racing, namely the pace car)
- because this is specificially Indianapolis, and not Indiana as a whole, I can make reference to its sometimes-nickname of Circle City. That refers to its history as a planned city; it was purposefully built to be the capital of Indiana, and the center of the city is built as a grid around Monument Circle with streets radiating out from the center in eight directions.
- most specifically, it refers to the genesis of baseball and its roots in the English game of rounders
- and it's unique! That means something beyond just doing something random for the sake of randomness, because it's still carefully chosen.

Here are the logos:

There's quite a bit going on in the primary, but it's similar to the official primary logos of a few MLB teams, like the Twins, Rangers and Mariners. The centerpiece of the identity is seen there as a letter O - this symbol that is both a wheel and an abstract representation of Monument Circle, with streets radiating out from the center in eight directions.



Apologies for posting white logos on a white background since they're literally invisible here, but you can visit the imgur link to check them out on a black background too. Anyway, you've got four options for a secondary here - the R from the primary, an I in the same font (which you'll also see on the road uniform), the wheel by itself, and the wheel superimposed over Indiana. (That sorta counteracts what I said earlier about this being an Indianapolis-specific team, but we will roll onward).

Jerseys and caps:







A fairly simple set of uniforms and caps - I would expect an Indianapolis team to try to follow a fairly traditional path. There's a pullover look to it even though it isn't a pullover, and the Indiana/wheel logo is a left shoulder patch. I use the R cap for them both home and away, but I've thrown in an I cap for those who want it.

On to the next team:

NASHVILLE STARS
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It was announced yesterday that a group of people aiming to bring MLB to Music City would use this name (article here). Nashville is never a city that was on my radar for real-life expansion, but these things move quickly and often in surprising directions, so who knows? The South is probably a part of the country that could use another team, and although Charlotte is maybe the more obvious choice Nashville is a city on the rise in a lot of ways. At first glance, calling a team the Stars might seem uninspired, but I think it's a perfect name for Nashville:

- as mentioned in the article, this group is partnering with the Negro League Museum, and Stars was a name for dozens of teams in that era of baseball's history
- it's also in fitting with the city's history of music given the number of stars it has produced, without sounding overly minor-league like the name "Sounds" does
- and the name lends itself perfectly to a piece of iconography that is uniquely Tennessee, and that Nashville's other pro sports teams have already implemented. Civic unity!

Here's my take.





I dislike the Sounds name, but not the current logo, so I decided to repurpose it. The most obvious change is the addition of Tennessee's three stars, which appear on its state flag and reference the three unique "Grand Divisions" of Tennessee that could easily have been separate states but aren't. Nashville's other major pro teams, the Titans and Predators, also use three stars as a motif somewhere in their imagery, so this I think is a realistic choice. They replace a fairly bland "cap logo inside baseball". The team colors are by no means original within MLB, but they match the colors of the state flag, so it was a natural choice to keep the Sounds' navy and red.





Four different choices here for a secondary logo. The first is the Sounds' real-life cap logo and it's the cap logo I'm using as well. (It's already got a white outline to it although that's nigh-on impossible to see.) This is my personal choice for the Stars' secondary logo in my game but there are options here for everybody. We've got the Three Stars isolated and two different versions of an N inside a guitar pick shape. Yeah, I know in changing the team to the Stars it has less to do with music than the Sounds do, but the Predators also have a guitar-pick logo (this one) so there is definitely precedent here.

Jerseys and caps:








Kind of another "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" scenario with the home uniform. The Sounds' current home white is one of my favorite MiLB uniforms so I didn't mess with it too much, just adding the three-stars logo to the left shoulder. Two different versions of the road gray because I honestly can't decide which way I want to do it myself. The navy blue cap with the N is intended to be the primary cap both home and away, but the cap with the white front panel can be used as a home alternate (I don't recommend it with a gray uniform).


--------


That's all for now! I have several more of these saved up but I've already spent longer on this post than I wanted to.

Last edited by Ruwisc; 10-15-2019 at 02:48 AM. Reason: updated map
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Old 08-30-2019, 01:40 PM   #2
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SACRAMENTO SOLONS
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Sacramento is similar in sporting stature to Nashville in a lot of ways - a city without a lot of prominent sporting success or history at the major levels, but who makes up for it with fan enthusiasm. I'm seriously hoping Sacramento is the next city accepted by MLS, an honor that they were ironically beaten to by Nashville. I'm a St. Louis guy myself, and going through the MLS process at the same time as Sactown made me appreciate them as a city and a group of fans. Sacramento feels like a city that would already have an MLB team if the Bay Area weren't nearby. Anyway, let's reward those fans with an MLB team!

I've always been fascinated by the early history of the Pacific Coast League. Maybe it's because I always envisioned myself as a person who belonged on the west coast, but I think the thing that draws me to it the most is the incredible alternate history potential. In the mid-late 50s, the PCL was gaining popularity and quality at a level that made the NL and AL worry that they would vie for major league status. It's incredible to think about what might have happened had the PCL succeeded - we would have well-established teams with decades of success or failure under their belts like the Seattle Rainiers, Portland Beavers, San Francisco Seals... or the Sacramento Solons! Instead, the NL quashed any hope of an uprising with the Dodgers and Giants' moves to the west coast. We do have a couple of classic PCL identities in real-life MLB with the Padres and Angels, and this is the perfect opportunity to introduce another.

I want to make note before I post the logo that I can't take full credit, or much credit at all, for the overarching design here: it was originally conceived by the really talented Raysox over at the sportslogos.net concepts forum. His post can be found here. I do think the color scheme I've chosen suits the logo a lot better, though, and I've made small tweaks throughout to fit my own mold.



The word "Solons" was early journalistic slang for Senators, and the team took that name in reference to Sacramento's status as capital of California; but, the origin of the name is in the Athenian lawmaker Solon, who was unappreciated in his time but is now regarded as one of the fathers of democracy. So this logo set is slightly Greek-influenced, with the big script Solons laid over an Athenian-style shield. The addition of red as an accent color helps to distinguish this team from the Rays and others who use double-blue combos.



Three different versions of a secondary logo to choose from - the capital S is a strong logo to me on its own so I let it stand out here. We have it here in a couple of color combos, and a variety showcasing the Greek shield.

Jerseys and caps:





Got a few possible color combos here for you. My personal preference is the white jersey with the first hat at home, and the navy jersey with the second hat on the road, but there's mix-and-match potential here.

That's all for Sacramento! Not sure which city I'll be doing next, but I think it'll most likely be New Orleans.

Last edited by Ruwisc; 08-30-2019 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 08-31-2019, 08:45 AM   #3
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NEW ORLEANS CRESCENTS
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The case for New Orleans as a major league city is kind of the opposite from Sacramento and Indianapolis - it would immediately be the smallest media market in MLB (supplanting Milwaukee), and there doesn't appear to be anything super-special about it in terms of fan support or enthusiasm for baseball (not that I see their fans in a negative light or anything, it just seems... average in that respect). On the other hand, geography works in its favor. The nearest MLB team is 4-5 hours away in Houston and the South is the part of the country that is the least saturated in baseball terms. If you are expanding MLB by several teams, or envisioning a sort of alternate history where MLB goes south before it goes west, then New Orleans is a great choice.

And on top of that, New Orleans has an unparalleled character in the lineup of American cities, which is why the direction in which I'm going with this identity might be surprising. I wanted to do something that I hadn't seen anybody do before, and specifically wanted to avoid using Mardi Gras as a theme. The Zephyrs were a bit too bland, but the Baby Cakes are a little embarrassing in my opinion.

So, enter the Crescents. The oldest parts of the city, including the French Quarter, are built around the wide side of a bend in the Mississippi River, making the sort-of shape of a crescent and giving the city one of its many nicknames, Crescent City. (Here's a diagram of the relevant area. Whether it actually looks like a crescent is... up to your interpretation.) This is a name that I think New Orleanians could identify with more than they would an attempt to sell more purple, gold, and green merch. Here's the logo set!



The primary logo is a fairly simple wordmark, not something typically seen in a primary logo but it works in this case I think. I'm not in love with the overall shape of it, but there's something here, and the color scheme is something I'm very happy with. The team uses two shades each of blue and cream, with the blue being sort of a cornflower color which I'm sure in sports-PR-speak would be called something like Twilight Blue. The darker blue doesn't appear here, but does on the secondary logos.



I think this is overall my favorite set of secondary logos, and I hope y'all like them too. I had the idea for this team stashed away in a notebook I had doodled in several years ago, and the idea of a fleur-de-lis made partially from crescents was the genesis for why I chose to go ahead with this name. (It turned out much better here than it ever did in my drawings.) Both fleurs-de-lis are used as shoulder patches, one on each uniform. The logo I use for the secondary in my save is the first one, combining an "NO" monogram with the crescent C. The crescent moon by itself is the primary cap logo, both for reasons of simplicity (it looks really nice on a hat) and because it's the only one of these logos that doesn't appear on either uniform.

Jerseys and caps:





I eschewed a gray uniform for this concept, leaving the blue uniform to serve as the permanent road jersey. That, weirdly, makes this a uniform set that doesn't have any gray or black in it at all; I think that's a cool vibe, focusing just on these chill, soft colors. The first cap shown (with the cream-colored bill) is the choice for a home cap; I prefer the blue-billed caps to the cream when they wear the away jersey. I threw in some alternate hats as well if you'd like a different logo up there, although for the blue uniform these extra two hat logos are already on your shoulders.

That's all for New Orleans, I hope you liked it! Next up (probably not for a couple of days), we put a third team in New York.

Last edited by Ruwisc; 08-31-2019 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 08-31-2019, 12:31 PM   #4
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Ruwisc, your work is well-researched and well-thought out... you seem to get the essence and soul of a city... which is the way it should be in creating logos, caps and jerseys.

Not only is your work well-conceived, it is also brilliantly carried out.

I'm from New Orleans and you nailed it graphically.

The crescent image fits in very well... New Orleanians call the city, "The Crescent City"... also the "The City That Care Forgot".

I don't think New Orleans will ever get a MLB team... the fans insanely love the New Orleans Saints... also the LSU Tigers fanatically... that doesn't leave enough in the family budget for baseball, which is outrageously overpriced at the MLB level... a family of four can spent $300 for a game... tickets, drinks, peanuts and crackerjack.

No many big corporations in town, either, for corporate sponsorships, which are vital for a MLB team.

Sad to say, New Orleans is not a baseball town... nor a basketball town.

They lost the New Orleans Jazz to Utah... poor support.

I don't think the New Orleans Pelicans of the NBA will be in the city in 10 years... support is lukewarm... will only support them if they are a serious playoff contender.

Thursday, I attended the last New Orleans Baby Cakes PCL game against the Memphis Redbirds... agree with you and the entire city of New Orleans, that the "Baby Cakes" is one of the worst nicknames in baseball history... could be part of the reason for the team's lack of support... the GM said the team lost its core fans... yet he is the one who chose that ridiculous name... I called him personally and talked to him about the poor choice of nickname... he said it's all about money... Cookie Rojas is a very nice person, but it was a bad choice of nicknames... sadly, this is the way the minor league teams are going these days... choose a silly name like Montgomery Biscuits and make a lot of money.

There were more New Orleans Zephyrs caps and jerseys at the game Thursday night than Baby Cakes.

Oh, yeah... it was a very good game... lots of homers in a pitcher's ballpark... the ball is really juiced this year in baseball... New Orleans jumped out to a 5-1 lead early, but the Redbirds came back and won it on a three-run homer in the ninth... there were 5 homers in the game.

It was also Throwback Thursday... New Orleans wore the 1942 New Orleans Pelicans Home White uniform trimmed in Blue and Red... Pelican image on cap and sleeve... with two Pelicans on a bat like the St. Louis Cardinals.

Keep up your great work in this thread... I really enjoy following it.

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Old 08-31-2019, 01:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene Church View Post
Ruwisc, your work is well-researched and well-thought out... you seem to get the essence and soul of a city... which is the way it should be in creating logos, caps and jerseys.

Not only is your work well-conceived, it is also brilliantly carried out.

I'm from New Orleans and you nailed it graphically.

The crescent image fits in very well... New Orleanians call the city, "The Crescent City"... also the "The City That Care Forgot".

I don't think New Orleans will ever get a MLB team... the fans insanely love the New Orleans Saints... also the LSU Tigers fanatically... that doesn't leave enough in the family budget for baseball, which is outrageously overpriced at the MLB level... a family of four can spent $300 for a game... tickets, drinks, peanuts and crackerjack.

No many big corporations in town, either, for corporate sponsorships, which are vital for a MLB team.

Sad to say, New Orleans is not a baseball town... nor a basketball town.

They lost the New Orleans Jazz to Utah... poor support.

I don't think the New Orleans Pelicans of the NBA will be in the city in 10 years... support is lukewarm... will only support them if they are a serious playoff contender.

Thursday, I attended the last New Orleans Baby Cakes PCL game against the Memphis Redbirds... agree with you and the entire city of New Orleans, that the "Baby Cakes" is one of the worst nicknames in baseball history... could be part of the reason for the team's lack of support... the GM said the team lost its core fans... yet he is the one who chose that ridiculous name... I called him personally and talked to him about the poor choice of nickname... he said it's all about money... Cookie Rojas is a very nice person, but it was a bad choice of nicknames... sadly, this is the way the minor league teams are going these days... choose a silly name like Montgomery Biscuits and make a lot of money.

There were more New Orleans Zephyrs caps and jerseys at the game Thursday night than Baby Cakes.

Oh, yeah... it was a very good game... lots of homers in a pitcher's ballpark... the ball is really juiced this year in baseball... New Orleans jumped out to a 5-1 lead early, but the Redbirds came back and won it on a three-run homer in the ninth... there were 5 homers in the game.

It was also Throwback Thursday... New Orleans wore the 1942 New Orleans Pelicans Home White uniform trimmed in Blue and Red... Pelican image on cap and sleeve... with two Pelicans on a bat like the St. Louis Cardinals.

Keep up your great work in this thread... I really enjoy following it.

Thank you Eugene, I appreciate your kind words and always like seeing what you have to say.

I agree that MLB in New Orleans is unlikely to happen any time soon for all the reasons you identify, but it is a shame that the AAA franchise hasn't worked out. I hope they're able to draw another team in the near future - I hear the city is attempting to entice a team from the AA Southern League, but I wonder if they might have to wait for MLB to expand and create a need for more minor league franchises. It ought to be a great city for AAA baseball.


I came across those Pelican uniforms when I was researching for the Crescents and I really enjoy them. If the NBA Pelicans didn't already exist that would have been one of my top choices for a name too.
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ruwisc View Post
Thank you Eugene, I appreciate your kind words and always like seeing what you have to say.

I agree that MLB in New Orleans is unlikely to happen any time soon for all the reasons you identify, but it is a shame that the AAA franchise hasn't worked out. I hope they're able to draw another team in the near future - I hear the city is attempting to entice a team from the AA Southern League, but I wonder if they might have to wait for MLB to expand and create a need for more minor league franchises. It ought to be a great city for AAA baseball.


I came across those Pelican uniforms when I was researching for the Crescents and I really enjoy them. If the NBA Pelicans didn't already exist that would have been one of my top choices for a name too.
A local businessman bought the New Orleans Zephyrs and wanted to name them the Pelicans, but Tom Benson of the New Orleans Saints had the rights to the name and would not sell them.

I wish Benson would have given them the rights... any baseball team in New Orleans should be the Pelicans.

The New Orleans Pelicans of the Southern Association enjoyed success in the 30s and 40s under manager Larry Gilbert, a great minor league manager and general manager.

As a kid, I really enjoyed going to Pelican Stadium in the 1950s to watch games.
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:46 AM   #7
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NEW YORK BURROS
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Could MLB really support another team in New York? Honestly, why not? It's easy to forget how many more people there are in the New York metro than in any other area in the US. It's double the size of Chicago's metro area, and triple the size of the Bay Area, both of which also have two teams in MLB, so I don't see a problem with a third team. Actually, in my game I have four teams in this metro area, with the Yankees, Mets, this team, and another across the river in Newark (I did not design that team so they won't be covered here). Where would a team play within the city? I'm not sure (and as a non-New Yorker, I really have no perspective here), but I imagine this team being in Brooklyn, maybe out on Coney Island where the current Cyclones play? Not that the current building there can handle Major League baseball, but a new park in that area.

So, here are the Burros. I admit, there isn't really a history of donkeys in New York City - this name was chosen because Boroughs doesn't really feel right. Adding in the opportunity to have an animal mascot is a plus as far as logo opportunities go (and a first for this thread) and it's a cutesy little bit of wordplay. The name Boroughs is maybe a bit obvious, but I think it's a realistic choice for a team coming into the league in the modern era; there are already a ton of established fans in New York of the Yanks and Mets no matter where a new stadium is being built, so why not try to court people from all over the city by choosing a unifying name?

This team, like the Crescents, is one that I've had the design for stored up for quite some time - maybe five years - without ever tying it together or sharing it with the world.

Team colors are a dark gray and kind of a crimson red - gray for the burro itself, and red because it matched nicely and is up for grabs as a New York team. New York loves their blue and orange - the traditional colors of the city dating back to its time as New Amsterdam - but the Mets are obviously already on that turf. I personally use this as a National League team, too, so matching them is especially a no-no.



For the first time here, two different choices for a primary logo. Both feature the rearing (jumping?) donkey silhouette and the NY monogram for this team, while the roundel also has a simplified outline of the city divided into its five boroughs (for those unaware, that's Staten Island in the bottom left, Brooklyn closest to it to the right, Queens to the northeast of Brooklyn, the Bronx as the furthest north, and the long, thin one is Manhattan). So depending on whether you prefer the simple or the complicated, there's an option for you.



Several secondary logos here. What I was always hoping to use was some version of the first logo here - the connected NY, with five stars for each borough of the city, using one color from each borough's flag. Unfortunately, it doesn't look very good in small resolutions, so I recommend it just as a sleeve patch. The invisible logo in the middle there is just the NY in white, and that's what I personally use for the standings/small logo. The final two are the cap logos - also good choices for secondaries.

Jerseys and caps:





Pretty simple set of uniforms and caps here - New York teams tend to play it pretty traditional uniform-wise so I think this blends in with that character. I personally use both the red caps for this set - the NY at home, the burro on the road - but there is also a gray cap here that looks good with the road uni.

That's all for the Big Apple! Next up, we head out west, and put a major league team in a city that some of you might never even have heard of! It'll work, I promise.

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Old 09-03-2019, 01:39 PM   #8
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SAN BERNARDINO 66ERS
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In a way, it's a bit surprising that there aren't any major sports teams in the Inland Empire. With over 4 million people, it's the 13th-most-populated metropolitan statistical area in the United States (according to Census Bureau estimates), basically double the size of the Pittsburgh metro and by far the largest without any Big 4 sports (next would be Austin at #30 - more on them later in this series). But it's also not that surprising, given its proximity to Los Angeles, despite being considered separately in some contexts. Still, if you think Southern California is a good part of the country to put another team, the Inland Empire is a place that could probably support one, I think.

There is currently a team known as the Inland Empire 66ers playing in San Bernardino, an Angels affiliate in the High-A California League. I really like the 66ers name, representing the city of San Bernardino's position on Route 66, and so it sticks. However, I'm going to pick sides and name the team for San Bernardino rather than for the whole Inland Empire. The fans in Riverside will learn to love the team anyway. (The two cities are of comparable size; Riverside is a bit bigger, but the stadium is in SB.) The team had a neat road sign logo for its first 11 years as the 66ers (2003-13), but a 2014 redesign tried to take them as far away from that as possible, introducing a new logo set based around a mechanic swinging a wrench like a baseball bat. It's definitely not the worst look in the minor leagues, but it is very minor league, so we're going back to an updated take on the road sign. The one thing that sticks around from the 2014 redesign is the color scheme of orange, gray and light blue. Here we go:



I've only had to take a couple of creative liberties with the sign here, mixing together parts of a few eras of U.S. federal highway signs. Of course, the most blasphemous thing is probably rendering it in orange and gray, so maybe the Department of Transportation doesn't sign off on this design in an IRL scenario, but I have grown to love it. Props to the creators of the Roadgeek series of fonts, which are near-perfect replicas of the actual fonts used on highway signs nationwide. This particular font is Roadgeek 2005 Series D - a perfect match as far as I can tell.



Three different versions of the shield pretty much cover us on secondary logos - I haven't really seen the need to create anything else for this club because I think the shield stands pretty well on its own. The ones with backgrounds are on rounded rectangles to make them look like actual road signs. It's not lost on me that here in 2019, that makes them look like smartphone apps, but we'll try to look past that.

Jerseys and caps:





Three unis and three caps here. Each shield logo makes an appearance on one of the uniforms. Whichever way you choose, I recommend pairing them up in the order they're shown - white cap with white jersey, orange cap with gray jersey, gray cap with orange jersey. Gray cap-gray uni might be tempting but it's not a good match - a uniform in the team's actual medium gray is a little too dark for a typical away uni, and I didn't want to go full Diamondbacks with this team. So the gray cap probably sticks best with the orange alternate uniform.

--------

That's it for San Bernardino! In the next post, we go to the Upper Midwest and try to major-league-ify the team that kicked off the current trend of "unique" minor league names.
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Old 09-06-2019, 11:18 PM   #9
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OMAHA THUNDER
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This is the smallest media market covered yet in this series; smaller than New Orleans, and about two-thirds the size of Milwaukee (the smallest in modern MLB). So, why would you want to put an MLB team in Omaha? Good question. I can think of a couple of reasons. In major sports, it's nearly uncharted territory. Obviously no teams are there now, and the only major team the city has ever had was the bizarre timeshare with the NBA's Kansas City-Omaha Kings. MLB is a bit unique among the USA's four major sporting leagues in that, until 2016, there weren't any cities where baseball was the only game in town. (With the move of the Chargers to LA, the Padres are now alone in San Diego.) Introducing a small market where baseball would be king is good for storytelling purposes.

In addition, Omaha has a ton of baseball history built up already. There have only been 73 editions of the College World Series, and 70 of them have been played in Omaha. It occupies a truly unique place in our baseball landscape and although an MLB team wouldn't be a slam dunk I'd be more comfortable with a team there than in a lot of cities of similar size. It would also have built-in rivalry potential with Kansas City, which is right down the river, and it's close enough to other Midwestern cities that rivalries would crop up organically.

We had some mentions earlier in this thread of the New Orleans Baby Cakes, and the modern trend of team names in minor league baseball being outlandish for seemingly no reason. It's not a totally new development, nor do I think the Storm Chasers name is a bad one (it's a totally acceptable minor league team name), but I have always associated the terrible team names that came later, most notably the Baby Cakes and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, with the Storm Chasers' rebranding in 2011. Coming into that season, the then-Omaha Royals (then and now the KC's AAA farm team) were moving to a new ballpark on the outskirts of town and picked a new name and identity to go with their new location. This idea of picking a new, fresh name and look to be more unique and stand out from the parent club, in my eyes, seemed to spark an avalanche of teams in the high minors doing the same thing. Many of them whiffed, as mentioned, but the Storm Chasers seem like they were largely a success. I say that as a person who's never set foot in Nebraska, but that's how it seems. I was at the MLB Winter Meetings a few years ago, and took the opportunity to see a talk given by the Storm Chasers' GM from the time (I wish I could remember his name) and although he touched on a lot of topics he spent a few minutes on the rebranding process. A really fascinating thing to hear about from the source.

So, I aim not to totally overhaul the Storm Chasers and start from scratch, but to make changes to it until it seems like it could be a major league team. I decided to change the name mostly because it's long - Thunder is a little snappier and it fits the theme (one of the semifinalists for the team's name in 2011 was Thunderbolts, so we're not falling far from the tree), and I felt the thunder and lightning portions of the Storm Chasers logo set were stronger bases than the tornado logo anyway.



The strongest logo in the Storm Chasers' set, in my opinion, is the O-bolt, and that can obviously stick around with the switch over to Thunder. Much of the team's primary logo has been kept the same, but I think the text, with all its lightning bolt bells and whistles, looks much better standing upright than it does in italics. The shorter name allows us to squeeze the letters of OMAHA closer together, another plus. The obvious biggest change is the switch from navy to purple, and making the gold golder - it makes sense to me that an Omaha MLB team would try to avoid blue if possible to stay out of the Royals' chromatic territory. Plus, any opportunity to introduce more purple to MLB is an opportunity worth taking right now, since only the Rockies use it.



A few different options for a secondary logo, with two versions of the O-bolt. The second O-bolt is the cap logo. We've also got two different versions of a T-bolt, which is not part of the Storm Chasers' identity.

Jerseys and caps:





Four jerseys and just one cap - the purple looks pretty good over all four tops, I'd say. I haven't gone with really bright colors for too many of these teams, but this is certainly an opportunity for it. I especially like how the gold uniform came out - I didn't have it previously & mocked it up just because I was making this post, but I think I'm gonna have them use it on the road going forward.

--------

And that's it for Omaha! Not sure where I'll be going next, but I have some free time over the weekend so you should see something else out of me soon.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:04 PM   #10
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OKLAHOMA OILERS
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Oklahoma and Oklahoma City, it seems to me, are kind of forgotten territory when it comes to sports. Obviously you have the power of college sports in the state, but professionally it was a dry bed for many years. The one major pro sports team that they can lay claim to, you could say, was gotten primarily because of a freak occurrence (their two years hosting the post-Katrina New Orleans Hornets serving as an audition of sorts for the NBA). What's stopping us from considering Oklahoma and Oklahoma City as a city that can handle major pro sports? Nothing, I'd say. If you'd like to put an MLB team here, I really can't think of a great reason why it wouldn't work. (I suppose we get to ignore the inconvenient problems of finding owners and building a suitable ballpark since this is OOTP)

As for a name, I really wanted to move away from any of the former names used by minor league teams in Oklahoma, even RedHawks. Oklahoma doesn't have the famously strong ties to the oil industry that states like Texas, Alaska or North Dakota do, but the ties are there. Tulsa is more famous for its oil industry than OKC is, so in case you'd rather locate this team in Tulsa, I've made sure not to specifically say "Oklahoma City" on any of the branding for this team. But either way, I think the name works in both cities; in researching the history of oil in Oklahoma, I learned that there's an oil field directly next to the state capitol in Oklahoma City, which is fascinating to me. We stick with "Oklahoma" in the team name no matter what, both for alliteration and to avoid potential confusion with the Tulsa Oilers hockey team.

I've gone for what might be a strange color scheme for this team; two shades of blue-ish, one dark and one pale, both tinted enough in the purple direction that you could rightly call them indigo, along with a shade of slightly blue-tinted gray. Those three colors come together in what I think is a really interesting way, and with white in the right places I think they work well together. Here we go:



Pretty classic look for a team called the Oilers, with the oil derrick (a la Houston) inside a gear (a la Edmonton). I like both elements, but I definitely leaned more on gears in making this team because of the resemblance to a letter O, very helpful in this spot. This set as a whole was kept very simple; that's partly by design, but partly because my attempts to add additional elements to these logos always made them look more cluttered instead.



Three different sets of meshed gears covers us for a secondary, each one looking like a pair of O's for the team name as well.

Jerseys and caps:




Pinstripes! This is the first pinstriped team I've gone for, and I think it works here (stripes are navy). I have kept the options very limited here with just one of each jersey, and one cap, because of the color combination - there isn't a lot that actually works, so I'm showing you what does. Logos would normally go on the left shoulder, but due to the meshed gears' sort of diagonal nature I think they look better from the right.

That's all for Oklahoma! That makes two straight teams beginning with the letter O, and I think next time out we'll make it a 3rd.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:16 PM   #11
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What about Charlotte? The Minnesota Twins seriously considered moving there a few years ago.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:35 PM   #12
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What about Charlotte? The Minnesota Twins seriously considered moving there a few years ago.

Charlotte's not one of the cities I created something brand new for - I have them in my league but I was able to find a brand that I really liked for them that someone else had made. (Carolina Pilots, which I posted about here.) That set comes from SFGiants58 on the sportslogos.net forum and his Defunct Saga, designing modern designs for teams that used to be and theoretical sets for teams that almost were. He's got the Carolina Twins in there as well, & golem64 has ported it over for use in OOTP in the thread I linked.



I've made tweaks to almost every team outside of the real MLB teams, so once I get to the end (only 4-5 teams left) I will post some of the smaller changes I've made, as well as the teams like the Pilots which I copied whole-cloth.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:58 PM   #13
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Let me guess, you're going to Orlando, unless I'm not interpreting your hint correctly here. That's about the only logical O-headed city that one might expect if you're not going to Canada or Mexico here. And it's obvious you're not going to Puerto Rico or Cuba anytime soon, if at all, with your designs here.

So what do you have in mind, then, perhaps, if my guess is correct here, for Orlando? Can't wait to see, I think. CD out.
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Clovidequano Dovatha View Post
Let me guess, you're going to Orlando, unless I'm not interpreting your hint correctly here. That's about the only logical O-headed city that one might expect if you're not going to Canada or Mexico here. And it's obvious you're not going to Puerto Rico or Cuba anytime soon, if at all, with your designs here.

So what do you have in mind, then, perhaps, if my guess is correct here, for Orlando? Can't wait to see, I think. CD out.
I guess I've accidentally faked you out, CD, because it isn't Orlando! Orlando actually isn't in my league at all - I had it on my list of possibilities but I always viewed it as too close to Tampa. If I were to expand again, or if I were starting this from scratch, Orlando would probably make the cut, perhaps over the team I'm about to post here, but I don't have a team there at the moment.

OTTAWA LYNX
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Yep, I'm going north of the border instead, out of the United States for the first time in this series, and up to Canada's capital city! Ottawa is one of three Canadian cities I added to MLB in this game, but the others were teams where I was happy with the existing team names/designs, so I won't be showing off Les Expos or the Vancouver Canadians here. (I'd like to change the Expos to something else eventually, but I haven't found a name that really satisfies me yet.)

Ottawa is actually fully out of the affiliated baseball business at the moment, having lost the real-life version of the Lynx after the 2007 season. The best the city can do at the moment is the Ottawa Champions of the independent Can-Am League. So what's the case for Ottawa as a major league city? Well, it appears to me that the failings of baseball in Ottawa were circumstantial; yeah, attendance was low for the AAA team, but minor and major league teams draw very differently by their nature. (It seems like they were also affected by the uncertainty surrounding the Expos, for whom they were an affiliate for many years; in the end, they only lasted three years longer after the Expos' departure.) In 2006, the Lynx' newly minted owners filed a lawsuit against the city that appears to my untrained eye to be a thinly-veiled excuse to break their lease and move. And move they did, to Allentown, PA (they are now the Lehigh Valley IronPigs). I think having a team in Ottawa would be fun for MLB; not just to expand the number of Canadian teams in the league, but to add an American League rival for the Blue Jays. (Montréal works for this too, I guess, but it almost feels wrong putting Montréal outside of the National League.)

If I had come across the design of the Ottawa Champions earlier, I might have lifted it wholesale; it's a pretty cool set, with a blue, white and red rendering of the Peace Tower over a maple leaf. But I didn't, and I liked the name Lynx enough to carry it over into this rebranding. It's not necessarily Ottawa-specific, but it is Canada-specific due to the prevalence of lynx across the country and into Alaska. What I didn't like were the Lynx's logos... any of them. I shudder to think that this was the actual primary logo of a AAA team for 7 years, and not that long ago either. The previous logo (here) was much better, but I still wanted to go in a new direction.



It's surprising how, in comparison to other North American major sports, MLB has a distinct lack of "snarling animal" logos. The NFL has about a dozen, and there are about another dozen between the NHL and NBA, but it's not something you see really in baseball anymore. Only a few teams even have animal basis for their name at all, and those that do tend to be more calm (the three bird teams, the Marlins) or not have animals in their main logos at all (Diamondbacks, Tigers). The closest we get in MLB's modern age is this alternate logo for Arizona, which they use as a cap logo sometimes. So we're gonna help MLB get mean again! One of the major changes from the AAA Lynx to this is in the color scheme, from red and black to red and tan.



Several other logos here on offer, including two versions of the primary that center the maple leaf instead. These are probably more suited as alternate primary logos than they would be as the small logo in your game. Also have two versions of an O circling the maple leaf; this O is from the jersey font so you'll see it below as well. The tan/red one is a good choice for a small logo, and the white one is the primary cap logo.

Jerseys and caps:




Both jerseys are pretty similar, with the identical red-tan-red striping pattern throughout. I like the O version of the hat, but there's a lynx version as well that's nice, and would make a good alternate hat if that sort of thing ever makes its way to OOTP.

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That's all I have for Ottawa! Not sure which team is next but we're really winding down now.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:05 PM   #15
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Would Voyageurs, Traders, or Fur Trappers have worked well enough for you with Ottawa? I have either used those names or might in the future for teams from there. Might I suggest Hilltoppers or Hightoppers for Montreal, for example?

The Lynx set looks very nice, and I could see the Ottoskarje Lynx adopting a similar look sometime down the line, circa 1950 or so. They don't exist in reality yet, because their parent team doesn't yet have enough players in its organization to support any minor league teams easily enough in the applicable saved game/dynasty, but they eventually will.

Keep an eye on my SRL-related dynasty thread, and you should be able to see how things continue to develop, I'm sure, in time, please. In the meantime, keep up the great work. Again, I can't wait to see how the Bluebirds will look and play in-game with your wonderful set of items. CD out.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:32 PM   #16
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Now that I've been able to think about it more, I might just use the Crescents identity instead of the Baby Cakes identity for the New Orleans team which will begin play in the EDA once I get to setting it up after the almanac for 1880 gets made for my Cosmic Baseball 001 dynasty/saved game for OOTP 19, at least, if not in other games as well. Still thinking about it, but it may be a distinct possibility that I will do just that in a little while.

That's all for now, I think, folks. CD out.
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Isaiah 55:6 & 7 KJV

6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

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Old 09-14-2019, 10:03 AM   #17
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Entire Crescents set downloaded, will use in place of Baby Cakes identity, once EDA is created with a team in New Orleans. That is all. CD out.
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6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

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Old 09-16-2019, 06:52 PM   #18
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Gonna preface this post by saying that I'm feeling a lot of inspiration for new designs coming into my head lately, so I think I'm going to extend this series by coming up with some new designs, especially for cities that are closer to the precipice of MLB (Portland, Charlotte, etc.). I am not taking requests, and I am not taking name suggestions; I'm going to do what comes to me, and there probably won't be a logical order to it either. But, I think I only have two more teams to post in here after this one, and I wanna keep the party going, so to speak. With that said, here's another entry!

SYRACUSE BLIZZARD
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To be perfectly honest, we're stretching the boundaries of plausibility here. I think I've been able to make a decent case for why any of the above cities could be landing spots for an MLB team, but there isn't really much here. Even in my league of 60, Syracuse has the smallest metropolitan area. I possibly didn't research thoroughly enough, since I decided on locations early in this process and I always thought Syracuse was bigger than it really is. But here we are; I felt I needed another team in the northeast, and I wound up with a team identity that I personally really like. So if you want an additional team in the northeast and like this set of logos, then it oughta work for you too.

It took me a long time to decide on a name for this team; I had stuck with the Syracuse Chiefs moniker for a while but I never really liked it that much. It's fine, but the logo set has altogether way too much beveling for my tastes, so I was ready for a change. The name Blizzard is perhaps an odd choice for a baseball team, since it's the quintessential summer sport, but the one thing that makes Syracuse seem unique to me (even compared to other cities in its region) is its shockingly high snowfall, higher than any major city in the United States at about 115 inches per year (almost 3 meters). A confluence of factors make it unique in that regard; they're close enough to Lake Ontario that they receive lake-effect snow from being downwind from it, but they are also close enough to the Atlantic and New England that they feel the effects of nor'easters as well.



The focus of this set is exactly what you might guess - a snowflake! That going along with the big letter S in a hexagonal shape produces something pleasing, I think. I tried a number of different things, mostly different versions of that S that wrapped around the snowflake instead of combining with it - this one definitely turned out the best. It's available here both with and without the wordmark, and all pieces of both logos have a white border around them so they'll be identifiable in-game. (As usual, hard to see here but very visible in the Imgur album linked at the start of this post.)



A handful of other snowflake-based logos to fill out the set. Any of these could realistically be a cap logo or the secondary logo - I've got the first two, the basic, lonely snowflakes, on caps for you down below.

Jerseys and caps:




The main jerseys are fairly normal, but the other pair are probably the wildest pair of jerseys I've ever made, with snowflakes streaming across from left to right. A team called the Syracuse Blizzard doesn't seem like the type that would keep it super traditional, so if you're into that sort of thing, there you go. You've got a white cap for the white uniform, a blue cap for either the white or gray, and a dark blue cap for the two snowstorm unis.

--------

That's all I have for Syracuse. Next up will be El Paso, I think, and another team that might be viewed as a weird choice by some... see you soon!
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:33 PM   #19
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I love that blizzard pattern on the last two jerseys!
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:44 PM   #20
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I love that blizzard pattern on the last two jerseys!
Thanks! It was the first time I've ever experimented with something like that so I'm really glad you like it.

After a bit of a break (went out of state for a few days to visit my sister), I'm back with another entry. Coming up here is the last team that I've already got 100% prepared; everything else after this team is going to be a brand new design made after I started posting these. That process is gonna take some time in general, but I think I can stick to a schedule of about one new team a week, perhaps more often. I had a team set up for Austin to go after this one but I'm really unsatisfied with it compared to these others, so I've scrapped it completely - I have a whole new name in mind and a neat idea that I think will work. That team probably won't be next, but we'll see. Anyway, here's WTX!

WEST TEXAS BLACKBIRDS (El Paso)
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I'm getting a little bit avant-garde here with this team, I suppose. If I hadn't mentioned it at the end of the Syracuse post, it wouldn't even be obvious that this team is in El Paso. Like a number of teams already posted in this thread, I've had the designs done for years on a team in El Paso known as the West Texas Blackbirds. I think there are good reasons at play for each decision that I've made here, so let me try to sell you on it.

I've never been a big believer in MLB's chances of expansion into Mexico; not that I don't think it would succeed (it probably would succeed), but I think the combination of expanding into a new country, especially one with a language barrier, along with MLB already having a nice tidy partnership with the Mexican League, is too many hurdles to cross realistically. (Havana is absolutely never happening; if MLB is expanding into a Spanish-speaking market, I'd give at least 80% odds that it's San Juan in Puerto Rico. But I'm not sure if any of those are really on the table, and I don't really have plans for them either.)

So why El Paso? Because it's a way for MLB to draw in (some) Mexican fans without having the MLBPA draw the line at a Spanish-speaking city or lengthy travel to CdMX. The media market numbers I typically use are not super kind to El Paso, but those are statistics that are only counting American heads and TV sets, and Juarez is more than double El Paso's size in population. Even discounting that the average Mexican fan is probably less likely to cross the border just to see a game, I think this pushes El Paso up into the territory where a major sports team could be successful. Apart from Montana and the western parts of the Dakotas, El Paso is also one of the parts of the contiguous US that is the most isolated from major pro sports (El Paso is closer to Phoenix than it is to San Antonio), so it oughta be worth a shot - there are a lot of people there that aren't being served by major American sports at the moment.

Why "West Texas"? To be perfectly honest, I made that choice in a split-second several years ago and have had it that way ever since. But I think it works here. For one, a team in El Paso would, I think, try to draw fans from the underserved parts of Texas like Amarillo, Laredo and the like. I don't think the potential of alienating fans in New Mexico is that big a deal (and if you're like me, you're also adding a team in Albuquerque; more on that to come), and fans from Mexico won't be as attached to the name "El Paso" anyway. I also liked the look of the abbreviation WTX (even though it appears that people don't actually say that, it's something that I'm leaning into) and abbreviating El Paso isn't satisfying. (EP and ELP both look wrong.) West Texas is a label that is applied pretty liberally and can take up a big chunk of land, and it seems OK to me that a team in El Paso might try to stake a claim to that.

And why Blackbirds? That's the easy part, actually. Different species of blackbird exist all over the world, but the primary American species is the yellow-headed blackbird, which lives in large parts of the United States, but are commonly seen in the Trans-Pecos and panhandle regions of Texas while being absent in the rest of the state. It's exactly the kind of bird that seems a natural fit for a baseball team - in fact, I just learned in writing this post that this bird in particular is related to the oriole.



I have had this logo saved up, 80% of the way done, for years, so I am appreciating this thread more for convincing me to finish it. I do all of my logos in Inkscape, and the reason why I originally had this blackbird at all was because I was using it as a test to teach myself how to use the program - in this case, digitizing a logo that I had already done on paper. This is a yellow-headed blackbird, the same species that can be found in El Paso, and so it is sensible to me that the color scheme should be dark gray, black and yellow; dark gray with black so that outlines can be visible while still making it a blackbird. A banner along the bottom in a style that I think is sorta reminiscent of the Southwest, and that's all you really need! It's also nice having the banner there since, as you might be able to guess, I really wasn't confident in my ability to draw a bird's feet.



Lot of choices here, and I've never been quite sure what the best option was for a secondary logo here. But if you want options, there are lots of them here. (I like using just the bird head personally.) Most should be pretty self-explanatory, but the fourth logo from the left features the outline of Trans-Pecos Texas, an area bounded by the Rio Grande to the west, the Pecos River to the east, and the New Mexico state line to the north. (The far western tip of the state, where El Paso is actually located, if you're looking on a map.)

Jerseys and caps:




A bunch of options here, since I wasn't totally sold on any one look as the best for this team. I definitely thought the team should wear gray pinstripes at home, but there are also two different shades of a gray uniform (a traditional road gray and a darker one in the team's actual gray color) and even a yellow vest alt that could fit either home or away. Hats for all occasions too, although the black cap with yellow bill works with all the jerseys, I think.

That's all for El Paso/WTX! As mentioned above, I'm not sure what city will be next on my list, but I'm hoping to have another one out by the end of this week.

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