Courtesy of MiLB.com

Every baseball fan has a few team logos that they love and a few they hate. Great logos become iconic (Think: St. Louis Cardinals) and some go on to have longer lifespans than we would have hoped (Think: 2012-2018 Marlins).

No matter where you fall on the spectrum, you have to admire teams’ creativity and effort towards making their brand stand out and get it plastered on shirts, hats, and every other piece of fan gear. Baseball is a sport rich in both tradition and innovation, and today we begin to take a stab at doing what all sports fans love to do – rank some things and get a conversation going.

Few guidelines before we get going. Manny and I want to lay out how we’re going to come up with these rankings and what the rankings will be based on.

FIRST, we want to point out that we will be ranking logos used in the current (2021) season. We are not taking a look at any alternate/past/retro logos. But that may be fun to do in a future blog!

SECOND, we came up with 4 categories to score each logo with validity as opposed to just saying a logo is good, bad, or somewhere in between just out of the blue.

THE CATEGORIES:

  • UNIQUENESS: How much does this logo stand out from the rest in the division/league?
  • INTIMIDATION FACTOR: At first glance, how much or how little does the logo intimidate an opposing team when they see them on the schedule?
  • GEOGRAPHIC INCLUSION: Does the logo include remnants of where they play ball? Landmarks, environmental factors, local history, etc. are all in play in this category.
  • COLOR SCHEME: This one is pretty basic. But color contrast matters, especially when you’re creating a uniform based around the team identity. Some teams do a great job keeping their designs aesthetically pleasing. Others… not so much.

Each category will be graded on a scale of 1-4 with a 4 representing that teams’ excellence in the category and a 1 representing their need for improvement. Manny and I scored these logos independently, and each of our respective category scores will then be averaged out for the category score you will see below. Those categories will be totaled for a final logo score which will position each team in the rankings. A perfect score would be a 16 (ICONIC) and the worst possible score would be a 4 (DO. BETTER.).

*IN THE EVENT OF A OVERALL SCORE TIE, WE WILL PROVIDE A FINAL RANKING SOLELY BASED ON THE AVERAGE SCORE IN THE “UNIQUE” CATEGORY *

By no means are Manny and I fashion designers or graphic artists of any sort. Of course we’ll offer up our own insights and arguments to back up our claims, but ultimately, these power rankings are as subjective as they come.

Where Did We Decide to Start?

We at The Three Spot envision this as something that can become a tradition of our own, and therefore, we want to start at the bottom. It would be really easy to rank the 30 MLB logos and call it a day but we want to take a look at logos down the pipeline. That’s right, we’re going to begin by ranking Minor League Baseball logos, which frankly are some of the most comical, cute, interesting, yet AWESOME logos in all of sports.

Since we’re based out of the East Coast, we figured it would make sense for us to start in the LOW-A EAST LEAGUE. And without further ado, let’s get to ranking.

Oh, one last thing. We are definitely aware that when you search each team on Google, you’ll find a variety of different logos, many of which will be different than the ones below. We’re pulling our logos from this MiLB article series as our reference.

#12 SALEM RED SOX

Overall Score: 5.5 / 16

  • UNIQUENESS: 1/4
    • Can we just do better here? I know the Boston Red Sox organization loves tradition, but using the same font for their low-A team is just lazy.
  • INTIMIDATION FACTOR: 1/4
    • It’s a letter that almost resembles a snake. On the basis of the logo itself, we’re not scared when they’re on the calendar.
  • GEOGRAPHIC INCLUSION: 1/4
    • S for Salem…. That’s it.
  • COLOR SCHEME: 2.5/4
    • Red and white is as classic as it gets, and the simplest of things stands out here with the Sox logo. Points for nostalgia.

#11 FREDERICKSBURG NATIONALS

Overall Score: 6 / 16

  • UNIQUENESS: 2/4
    • People hate on the Nationals “W”, but the script F for this team actually makes the Washington version look good. However, being that it’s only 1 of 2 letter-themed logos in the league, we’ve gotta give it some sort of credit.
  • INTIMIDATION FACTOR: 1/4
    • C’mon man. It’s just a letter.
  • GEOGRAPHIC INCLUSION: 1/4
    • Within the logo, nothing screams ‘Fredericksburg’ outside the F itself, so it takes a big hit here.
  • COLOR SCHEME: 2/4
    • The navy and white is a classic look, just like Salem’s Red & White. It really is. But it might just be the best thing going for them.

#10 CAROLINA MUDCATS

Overall Score: 8 / 16

  • UNIQUENESS: 3/4
    • Being the only fish in the league helps their cause here. The lettering stops it from being totally unique, though.
  • INTIMIDATION FACTOR: 1/4
    • Not intimidated by this thing. This thing looks so derpy and harmless. Nothing intimidating about a Magikarp with a Fu Manchu.
  • GEOGRAPHIC INCLUSION: 2/4
    • Mudcats are pretty native to this area with different creeks and rivers, so we think they did a good job tipping their cap to that.
  • COLOR SCHEME: 2/4
    • Honestly, this is a pretty boring color scheme. We know a Mudcat isn’t all that colorful but let’s do better guys.

#9 COLUMBIA FIREFLIES

Overall Score: 8 / 16

  • UNIQUENESS: 2/4
    • Being the 2nd of 2 insects in the league, the fireflies logo just isn’t all that unique or exciting.
  • INTIMIDATION FACTOR: 1/4
    • We can’t help but see a Vikings’ nostrils, mustache and beard with the firefly.
  • GEOGRAPHIC INCLUSION: 2/4
    • Fireflies are basically seen anywhere in the summer, so at first glance we were going to score this a 1. But after looking into it, we learned the local community voted for this on the basis of Congaree National Park, which a local newspaper wrote an article called “Synchronized fireflies putting on show at Congaree National Park”. This made us bump it up a point as the community recognized and paid homage to something specific to them.
  • COLOR SCHEME: 3/4
    • Neon green/yellow idea always plays. Plus, if these were uniform power rankings, they would get major points for the glow-in-the-dark jerseys.

#8 FAYETTEVILLE WOODPECKERS

Overall Score: 9.5 / 16

  • UNIQUENESS: 1.5/4
    • This bird is unique in the sense its’ got a fresh haircut, but nothing in this logo really separates it from the pack.
  • INTIMIDATION FACTOR: 3/4
    • While the logo is extremely accurate to the real bird, we aren’t getting that threatening feeling from it. It’s like they want to be mean, but it looks more majestic than anything.
  • GEOGRAPHIC INCLUSION: 1/4
    • Woodpeckers are everywhere, so we don’t believe there is anything especially significant here.
  • COLOR SCHEME: 2/4
    • Similar to the Mudcats, the grey, white, and tint of red works well, but is pretty basic.

#7 CHARELESTON RIVERDOGS

Overall Score: 10 / 16

  • UNIQUENESS: 3.5/4
    • We might be biased here but dogs are freaking awesome. You don’t see enough of them in sports, and this one is truly unique to this league.
  • INTIMIDATION FACTOR: 3/4
    • As much as we love this dog, it isn’t a logo we see on the schedule and think, ‘Damn. They’re gonna destroy us.’ They attempted to be intimidating but in the end we think it’s still just a cute dog who just fetched a bat out of the river for you. What a good doggy.
  • GEOGRAPHIC INCLUSION: 2/4
    • Since Charleston is known for its’ fishing, a Riverdog is a great representation for one of the favorite local activities. The logo represents the area well. If they would have incorporated the Charleston River into the logo, we would’ve gave this thing 1,000 points.
  • COLOR SCHEME: 2/4
    • It’s just not all that. The Riverdog itself gives the logo all the color. Take that awesome puppy out and all you have is a bland C and a bat. We’re sorry but the dog can’t carry the color scheme on it’s back like that.

#6 DOWN EAST WOOD DUCKS

Overall Score: 10.5 / 16

  • UNIQUENESS: 2/4
    • Again, this league is bird-heavy, so it’s tough to stand out from the crowd. But give us the bill of the duck over a bird beak.
  • INTIMIDATION FACTOR: 3/4
  • GEOGRAPHIC INCLUSION: 3/4
    • Wood Ducks are actually also known as Carolina Ducks, so the logo is pretty fitting for their location. Well done.
  • COLOR SCHEME: 2.5/4
    • This duck looks EXACTLY like it does in real life. The colors are pretty great but stacked against others in the league, we couldn’t fall in love with it here.

#5 AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS

Overall Score: 10.5 / 16

  • UNIQUENESS: 3.5/4
    • Being 1 of 2 insect-themed teams in the Low-A East, the Greenjackets stand out a bit from most of the other teams. Not many teams use insects, but this is utilized very well. The golfer’s hat also gives it a nice unique touch.
  • INTIMIDATION FACTOR: 3/4
    • Honestly, the wasp look is always intimidating but this one with the jacked arms and old man golfer hat just doesn’t scare me as much as a real one.
  • GEOGRAPHIC INCLUSION: 2.5/4
    • After researching, we recognized that Augusta is the home of the Master’s golf tournament and suddenly the name and color made sense. We think the logo here pays tribute to the location of the team and some non-baseball sports history, which we love.
  • COLOR SCHEME: 2.5/4
    • The Greenjackets logo really focuses in on the green theme which is cool, but we think it’s a bit of overkill here. We think they tried to add a little light with the hat and wings but it’s just way too much green for our liking.

#4 KANNAPOLIS CANNON BALLERS

Overall Score: 10.5 / 16

  • UNIQUENESS: 4/4
    • Okay, at first glance, this might be the most unique logo in all of sports. A guy shooting out of what we have to assume to be a cannon, decked out in full gear and a mustache? This thing is sick. But we have to ask… Why are they launching Bernie Brewer into orbit?
  • INTIMIDATION FACTOR: 1/4
    • This logo is more comical than intimidating. We’d say it makes us more ready to run through a wall rather than pumping our heart full of fear.
  • GEOGRAPHIC INCLUSION: 3/4
  • COLOR SCHEME: 2.5/4
    • Can’t ever hate on the red, white, and blue scheme but it’s nothing too special. The tint of yellow with the stars adds a bit of variety, though.

#3 MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS

Overall Score: 11 / 16

  • UNIQUENESS: 2/4
    • “Birds, birds, birds” – Destiny’s Child (1999). So many damn birds in this league.
  • INTIMIDATION FACTOR: 4/4
    • This pelican looks MEAN. The furrowed brow is executed perfectly and they made a not-scary-looking bird actually look pretty intimidating.
  • GEOGRAPHIC INCLUSION: 3/4
    • We’re talking the beach, the shore, and water here. Pelicans are common in myrtle beach, so we appreciate the front office doing a good job reading the room.
  • COLOR SCHEME: 2/4
    • Simple. It’s nothing different than a real-life pelican. Maybe having it swoop down, wings spread, and colorful waves in the background could’ve gave it some more points.

#2 DELMARVA SHOREBIRDS

Overall Score: 12 / 16

  • UNIQUENESS: 2/4
    • This league is a little bird-heavy, so there isn’t much separation here in this category, BUT, the bird itself is pretty badass looking.
  • INTIMIDATION FACTOR: 3/4
  • GEOGRAPHIC INCLUSION: 3/4
    • Shorebirds themselves are commonly found by, you guessed it, the shore. Given the team plays about 30 miles from Ocean City, MD, they deserve some credit.
  • COLOR SCHEME: 4/4
    • The color scheme is a perfect use of the Orioles colors. Easy to tell who their affiliate is.

#1 LYNCHBURG HILLCATS

Overall Score: 13 / 16

  • UNIQUENESS: 4/4
    • Now this one stands out from the pack. A hillcat?? We didn’t even know what a hillcat was until seeing this logo. Come to find out, hillcats aren’t even real. Could’ve fooled us.
  • INTIMIDATION FACTOR: 3/4
    • This thing looks like it’s out to FEAST on some slapdick pitching.
  • GEOGRAPHIC INCLUSION: 3.5/4
    • Right outside the Appalachian Mountains, I’m sure there are tons of “hillcats” or some real rendition of such animal that reside not too far from Bank of the James Stadium. Plus, the mountains included in the background of the logo just absolutely crush it. Love the thought process here.
  • COLOR SCHEME: 2.5/4
    • Colors feel like there’s a lot going on here. Although we hate on the simplicity of white at times, the absence of a white or even grey base kinda brings this category down a tick.

Complete Rankings

  1. Lynchburg Hillcats
  2. Delmarva Shorebirds
  3. Myrtle Beach Pelicans
  4. Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (UNQ: 4)
  5. Augusta Greenjackets (UNQ: 3.5)
  6. Down East Wood Ducks (UNQ: 2)
  7. Charleston Riverdogs
  8. Fayetteville Woodpeckers
  9. Columbia Fireflies
  10. Carolina Mudcats
  11. Fredericksburg Nationals
  12. Salem Red Sox

Stay tuned for our next Logo Power Rankings, as we tackle the Low-A Southeast League next!

3 thoughts on “🚨NEW CONTENT ALERT🚨 Team Logo Power Rankings – Vol. 1: Low-A East League

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