Wow, thank you so much for the passionate feedback from Part One where we brought you some hidden sports logo gems that you may have never heard of. Your passion and suggestions caused me to dig even deeper and I’m so glad that I did.
I kept saying, “How did I leave this team off my list”? I found new leagues that I had never heard of and some great history to go along with them. Let’s refresh what makes a great logo in my book.
You need a combination of: a) Tie in with the area in which they are playing for. B) Originality, something that is fading in sports logos c) Name alone doesn’t make a great logo. A great logo possesses character, creativity and a coolness factor to wear. Unfortunately, more and more parent clubs are spreading their name into their minor league affiliations. The perfect example is the Atlanta Braves. Six of their seven affiliates are called the Braves. I’m all about cross branding and I understand why parent clubs do this but where is the originality? Okay, now I’m off the soapbox and I proudly present to you more great Awesome Sports Logos that you may have never heard of.
The Lakewood Blue Claws
The Lakewood Blue Claws are the Single A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies in the South Atlantic League. They play their games in Lakewood Township, New Jersey. The Blue Claws are extremely popular and have led the South Atlantic League in total attendance or average attendance every year. Phillies MVP Ryan Howard is the most famous alumnus. Before they were the Blue Claws, they were the Fayetteville Generals who appeared in the movie Bull Durham. I enjoy this logo so much, I’ve included more than one picture. How did I miss this team the first time around?
Congrats Normal, you hit it out of the park with this logo! Normal, Illinois is part of the Bloomington-Normal metro area. That area is also part of the “corn belt”. Anytime you can make corn cool, you have an awesome logo! The Cornbelters are part of the independent Frontier League and began play in 2010. Anytime you can make a fruit or vegetable cool, you deserve an A+. Using the silk or “hair” of the corn to look like hair on the corns head is genius.
Lake Elsinore Storm
If you are driving from Las Vegas to San Diego, you will pass by Lake Elsinore. I stopped to check out the stadium and so should you. Built in 1994, it’s a baseball gem. The Storm is based in the California League. They are affiliated with the San Diego Padres. Lake Elsinore is the largest natural lake in Southern California and Native American artifacts have been found throughout the lake area. Sometimes a great logo comes from imagination. Storms don’t have a size or shape but we know when they go over water, they are mean. It’s a sharp looking logo with a unique name. Kudos to you Lake Elsinore!
I love mythical animals as logos and Jackalopes is just a cool logo name. A Jackalope is a Jackrabbit with Antelope horns or Deer antlers. The Jackalopes previously played in the Central Hockey League. They currently are a junior hockey team in the NAHL. What makes this logo special are the subtleties. The horns blend in well with the rabbit and if you look in the background you can see the oil pump jack in the background which symbolizes a major industry in that area. This is one of my favorite team names in hockey.
Controversy surrounds this Frontier League logo in Canada. Nobody is questioning how heinous the crimes by Jack the Ripper were back in the late 1800’s but that was in England, not Canada where they play ball. There is also the term “ripping” the baseball. In today’s politically correct society, this logo has caused an abundance of controversy but also attention to this independent league team. I do think this is a cool looking logo with the incorporation of the Canadian leaf above the “I”.
I love little points that aren’t initially picked up in a sports logo. The Toledo Walleye are in the East Coast Hockey League and they have the same ownership group as the Toledo Mudhens, another great logo I encourage you to look up. This logo has all of the components. Walleye is fished for in this area, you made a fish look super cool and I love the detail of the Walleye missing a tooth. All three combined make up an awesome sports logo!
Vermont Lake Monsters
Burlington, VT is close to one of America’s gorgeous lakes, Champlain. The name references Champ, the legendary Lake Champlain monster which had been the team’s mascot since 1994. The Lake Monsters are a short season A-ball affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Current Major Leaguers Geoff Blum, Jason Bay and Orlando Cabrera once played for the Lake Monsters whose games are played on the University of Vermont campus.
The Lumberjacks are in the United States Hockey League. They play in Muskegon, Michigan which is the largest city on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan. I like this logo for a bunch of reasons. This mascot looks like what I picture a lumberjack to look like including the colors he is wearing and the long beard. He also has that look like he’s on skates. I also love the small details like the point in the M and the ax blades at the end of the stick. Big kudos on this logo!
I have no idea what a Muckdog is but I don’t want to mess with this pooch. The Batavia Muckdogs are the short season A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals in the New York Penn League. MLB’ers who have passed through Batavia includes Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Doc Ellis and even former Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams played for a season. The best part of this logo that can easily be missed is the crushed fence is in the shape of an “M” for Muckdogs. Little details make great logos.
The Snappers are a single A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. We actually applaud the Beloit Snappers because they have done the opposite of what this article is about. After 13 seasons of using their parent club’s name, they switched to the Snappers name and logo because Beloit was known for many years at Turtle Village. You rarely see Turtles as logos because when you think of Turtles, you don’t think of finishing first and being the most energetic bunch. Notable alumni include Prince Fielder and Tony Gwynn Jr.
This is a logo that could easily be overlooked due to its name. Not that Warriors is a bad name but Warriors is up there with Tigers as overused logo names. The Michigan Warriors are in the North American Hockey League. I just love the colors and look of this logo. This logo should have a hidden gem asterisk besides it. Well done Michigan Warriors.
Give this Single A affiliate of the Pirates some credit. They could have easily just called themselves the Pirates but they came up with an entirely different logo with the same message. I love the bats crossing in the hat and the font of the logo.
Okay, totally different species but I got the color right. The Aquasox feature an extremely colorful logo which is points in my book. What I really like about this team is one of their logos is the trident logo used by the Seattle Mariners back in the 1980’s but it is turned sideways which makes it resemble an “E” for Everett. That’s a tremendous job by the Aquasox incorporating the Mariners club history into one of their logos.
The Aeros are a historic minor league franchise in Houston. In fact, one of the greats of all time, Gordie Howe skated for the Aeros who were very close to becoming a professional franchise at one time. This is a slick logo with the airplane coming through a puck. I love the old bomber plane with the teeth which brings in great history. I’m a big hockey fan and attend a lot of Aeros games so I didn’t want to come across bias but looking across the country at the many minor league logos makes me realize that one of the better one’s is right here in Houston.
Gary SouthShore Railcats
I can’t believe they can fit this entire name on a single uniform. The Railcats play in the American Association which is independent league baseball. They’ve actually had some great success in independent ball reaching the Northern League championship for five straight years. This logo to me epitomizes community. The name of the stadium they play in is called U.S Steel Yard. The name derives from both the city’s deep history of freight lines and the South Shore Line commuter train which is visible over the left field wall at the stadium. What I like about the logo is replacing the head of the bat with a railroad/steel tie. I’ve heard of all kinds of cats but never a Railcat. I love the name and the look of this awesome sports logo.
Originally the Santa Fe Roadrunners, the team moved to Topeka in 2007 due to poor attendance. Since moving, the team has done much better both in attendance and on the ice as a part of the Junior level North American Hockey League. Sometimes a logo just hits you and this one did with me. I’ve seen Roadrunner logos in the past and this one wins first prize in my book.
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
Anytime you name your team after an indigenous animal, that’s a winner in my book. Southern Maryland is well known for Blue Crabs and the team plays in the Atlantic League of Independent Baseball. They have a terrific cap insignia which is a “B” with a claw weaving through it and their fans are referred to as “Crustacean Nation”! Their mascot is aptly named “Pinch”. If I’m ever in Southern Maryland, I’m going to hit a Blue Crabs game.
To me, this is one of the best play on names in sports. Couple with that with a mascot named “Swampee” and you are guaranteed to make this list. The Everblades play in Espero, Florida and are part of the East Coast Hockey League. The logo is just as good with the name Everblades made to look like a skate blade with the head of the Gator meant as the shoe of the skate and the body and tail for the rest of the skate. At first glance, you might not notice these subtleties. This is a terrific logo and despite the heat in Florida, the Everblades are one of the top draws in the ECHL.
There are a lot of patriotic logos but Somerset caught my eye. Somerset plays in the Atlantic League of Independent baseball. This logo has great history as the “Patriots” name refers to the Middlebrook encampment where the first official flag of the United States was unfurled. Logos don’t get much more historic than that. This shows great incorporation of the flag which doubles as the logos body. I love the old colony 13 stars flag that doubles as the shoulder and how the other side looks like a cape but also looks like a flag waving in the breeze. This is a well designed logo which has a modern look with a lot of great history involved.
If I missed any logos which I’m sure I have, I encourage you to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Creative sports logos are a dying art. So much so that I’ve created www.awesomesportslogos.com. It’s my side project to bring back the creativity to logos. Some are historic like the New York Zouaves or the Dallas Doughboys, many like the Idaho Taters or Las Vegas Snake Eyes are names synonymous with their origin and many we created to give you a chuckle or two. It’s my way of creating cool t-shirts incorporating my love of logos. I’ll keep searching for those hidden minor league gems and I hope you do as well.
— Gavin Spittle Program Director SportsRadio 610 and sports logo lover.
MORE AWESOME LOGOS
I’ll keep searching and hopefully you’ll join me in this search. There are so many hidden logo gems out there. Creative logos are a lost art. So much so that I