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MLB: The Defunct Saga - Tampa Bay Pirates Added

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@BellaSpurs beat me to the punch, but even if it wasn't intentional, I like how the I resembles a bow.  Far as some of the rest, I particularly liked the Denver A's.

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7 hours ago, QueenCitySwarm said:

Wow! The Arrows look great, the only thing I have an issue with is the "I" insignia. I just can't for the life of me, see it as an "I". The extra part on the right is really throwing me off, so I think getting rid of it might help. Aside from that, they look pretty good, though I have to say I'd prefer a completely modernized set based on the concept uniforms. 

 

Thanks! I've incorporated your suggestions into the design.

 

7 hours ago, coco1997 said:

I agree with @QueenCitySwarm; the insignia doesn't immediately read as an "I." How about making the logo an "A" as was planned with those '80s mock-ups? I guess the problem you might run into with that is it might move them too close to the Braves, with whom the Arrows would have hypothetically shared a division...On second thought, maybe just try modifying the "I." 

 

My other nitpick is with the road wordmark. "Indianapolis" just seems too unwieldy to work on the front of a jersey. It also makes the arrow underneath too long and thin. How about just "Indy" instead?

 

Those small gripes aside, this is another excellent creation. Excited for the Tampa Bay sweepstakes, especially the TB White Sox!

 

Thanks! I've adjusted the set to incorporate a new "I" that reads more like an "I" and a compact "Indy" script (a la Phila for the A's/Phillies/Sixers) in the original post. Here is a comparison:

 

eyLBeam.png

 

It's still blackletter-influenced, but much more clear.

 

7 hours ago, Dalcowboyfan92 said:

The Arrows set looks really clean, and sharp. It's like if the AAA Indians got promoted to the MLB, and having to choose Arrows as their team name because of Cleveland.

 

Thanks! Part of the thesis of the set was making it so that the Arrows' identity could take over for the Indians, whether it be major-league promotion or naming controversy. 

 

6 hours ago, coco1997 said:

 

I didn't know about/overlooked that one, good catch! New Orleans would have just been a few home games, so I doubt I'll do it. Seattle, on the other hand, is in the cards. I'll loop around to it during the Tampa Bay Sweepstakes (because a bunch of consecutive TB concepts will get boring), along with the San Diego Reds and the Washington Nationals (former Orioles). I will be changing the name to Rainiers, citing it as either Nintendo of America not liking it or the city council forcing them to do it as part of getting Safeco Field funded.

 

Basically:

 

fada7fd83388398b02814af778e14275.jpg?fit=500,333&ssl=1

 

Helping to change their image of crappy play (like the team wouldn't have the same problems they had in Cleveland and the Mariners had with owners) hoping for a brighter, more competitive future. It does mean that Major League would be subject to change, which I'm not fond about.  

 

6 hours ago, the admiral said:

Blackletter is always a valiant attempt at getting around the limitations of the letter I, it works wonders for O, but I think it needs a top and a bottom to read as an I.

 

It's hard for me to get too much into the "character" of the city of Indianapolis, but black and red somehow feels too dour for an Indianapolis team, especially on grey. My experience with Indianoplace is that it's not quite as German and old-stock as Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. It just is. I don't know what color palette would best reflect their just-is-ness.

 

Those original Arrows designs have aged like a banana in the sun, I think we can agree on that.

 

Thanks. I totally see where you're coming from with the "I" (hence the fix) and the color scheme. I thought about mixing up the color scheme to something that might be region/name-appropriate. Blue/gold was on the table for a bit, but I rejected it for being too Brewers-ish. Black/red fit the inspiration and the current iteration of the Indy Indians, while also being "generic" enough for a city like Indianapolis. I mean no offense to the people of Indianapolis, but the city just comes across as a big pile of "blah" compared to other big Midwest towns. 

 

The original designs are so '80s that Nirvana killed their career. I have no doubt that the team would have tossed them under the rug the minute somebody in the office got a copy of Adobe Illustrator, a la the original Timberwolves brand. Also, my research turned up a way to make the design exceptionally dated:

 

logo.jpg

 

Serpentine. Not even once.

 

2 hours ago, BellaSpurs said:

Y’all dont see the bow in the i? Or am going crazy, I think it’s a genius idea. I love Indianapolis, one of my favorites so far. Also how would Indiana be too close to st.Louis Chicago and Cincinnati But Louisville wouldn’t?

13 minutes ago, Discrimihater said:

@BellaSpurs beat me to the punch, but even if it wasn't intentional, I like how the I resembles a bow.  Far as some of the rest, I particularly liked the Denver A's.

 

Thanks, guys! I did chose the font partially because of the "I," which came that way. I tried to make it a bow in profile, but I didn't like the way it looked. I figured that changing it to a more traditional "I" would be a bit better. 

 

@BellaSpurs, the reason why Louisville wouldn't as much of problem as Indianapolis during the A's attempt to move there was that the AL was a bit more spread out in the area. They had teams in Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland, which were further from Louisville than Indianapolis is from Cincinnati. 

 

@Discrimihater Thanks for liking the Denver A's! They were one of my favorites in the series, especially going all-out with the 1990s set.

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Yea.  It's hard to even call Indianapolis an odd duck because if it were odd it'd at least have something you'd free associate the city with.  Even the things it should be known for (racing and basketball) are more freely associated with other places (Daytona and New York City). There's not even an ethnicity it's linked to the way Chicago is with the Polish, Brooklyn with Italians, Boston with the Irish, etc.

So, I mean, you might as well stick with black and red here.  It'd at least be unique in MLB and has represented baseball in Indy for long enough. 

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The new "I" is a big improvement, as is the "Indy" road script. Good job!

 

Also, the San Diego Reds? ?

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Dang, Indy looks great! I love the arrow under the scripts and the way the striping patterns are carried throughout. I think black & red works fine for them, but if you wanted to try a different scheme, powder blue & red could be an option, as that was what the photo of the mockup uniforms initially struck me as.

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Oh gooey, it's time for the Tampa Bay Sweepstakes! Where so many teams were looking to move to Tampa. Of course, knowing what we know now; they'd be moving into a giant cavernous stadium in The Trop that also doubles as a catwalk sanctuary.

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Just caught up with this thread, man it's the best thing going right now. I loved your complete bastardization of the a's. Can't what to see what you do with the myriad of teams wanting to move to Tampa Bay

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The Arrows look awesome!! Shifting the name to a medieval direction was a great idea. I'd also be curious to see a full set inspired by the retro look; despite the clear rush job with the logo, I think it holds a certain charm. This whole series is fantastic and so fun to follow!

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I was a kid just south of Indianapolis when all of this went down. Brings back a nice little bit of my childhood. Thank you.

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On 11/12/2018 at 2:43 AM, NicDB said:


Yea.  It's hard to even call Indianapolis an odd duck because if it were odd it'd at least have something you'd free associate the city with.  Even the things it should be known for (racing and basketball) are more freely associated with other places (Daytona and New York City). There's not even an ethnicity it's linked to the way Chicago is with the Polish, Brooklyn with Italians, Boston with the Irish, etc.

So, I mean, you might as well stick with black and red here.  It'd at least be unique in MLB and has represented baseball in Indy for long enough. 

 

Yeah, Indy is kind of blank slate in that regard.

 

On 11/12/2018 at 12:48 PM, coco1997 said:

The new "I" is a big improvement, as is the "Indy" road script. Good job!

 

Also, the San Diego Reds? ?

 

Thanks! Yes, the Reds nearly moved to San Diego in 1964. I overlooked it earlier, and I'll fill it in either during or right after the Tampa Bay Sweepstakes.

 

On 11/12/2018 at 3:11 PM, MJD7 said:

Dang, Indy looks great! I love the arrow under the scripts and the way the striping patterns are carried throughout. I think black & red works fine for them, but if you wanted to try a different scheme, powder blue & red could be an option, as that was what the photo of the mockup uniforms initially struck me as.

 

Thanks! I might try a powder/red variant during a round of updates.

 

On 11/12/2018 at 5:34 PM, Dalcowboyfan92 said:

Oh gooey, it's time for the Tampa Bay Sweepstakes! Where so many teams were looking to move to Tampa. Of course, knowing what we know now; they'd be moving into a giant cavernous stadium in The Trop that also doubles as a catwalk sanctuary.

 

It'll either be The Trop or a similar domed stadium in Tampa proper (see this post).

 

On 11/12/2018 at 6:25 PM, raysox said:

Just caught up with this thread, man it's the best thing going right now. I loved your complete bastardization of the a's. Can't what to see what you do with the myriad of teams wanting to move to Tampa Bay

 

Thanks, I'm glad you like it! I'm sure you'll enjoy the cavalcade of Tampa Bay moves, what with adapting classic identities and creating new ones. 

 

On 11/14/2018 at 10:10 AM, erb6g6 said:

The Arrows look awesome!! Shifting the name to a medieval direction was a great idea. I'd also be curious to see a full set inspired by the retro look; despite the clear rush job with the logo, I think it holds a certain charm. This whole series is fantastic and so fun to follow!

 

Thanks! I'll probably complete the retro set further down the line.

 

On 11/15/2018 at 5:50 PM, Whittier S said:

I was a kid just south of Indianapolis when all of this went down. Brings back a nice little bit of my childhood. Thank you.

 

Thanks, and you're welcome! I'm glad to see some of the people who were "on the ground" during these relocation/expansion attempts following the thread.

 

Anyway, let's play the game!

 

The Tampa Bay Sweepstakes - A Cruel Tampa’s Thesis

 

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This part of the series will see how the Tampa Bay area became the “threat zone” for the major leagues. The market frequently came up in expansion discussions during the 1980s, highlighting a growing population and corporate sector willing to support a team. It had long been a Spring Training site, with several minor-league teams in the area (e.g., the Tampa Smokers and Tarpons). According to Frank Morsani, continuous interest in a major league team started with discussions between the Pinellas County Sports Authority, Tampa mayor Bob Martinez, Tampa Tribune sports editor Tom McEwen, and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in 1982.1 Groups in the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg would put together stadium plans, with St. Pete going all the way in building Tropicana Field (then known as the Suncoast Dome) with taxpayer money. There are several key players who will appear throughout the various relocation efforts, so I’ll introduce them now.

 

Frank Morsani and the Tampa Bay Baseball Group

 

AR-151119470.jpg 0Ryijlo.jpg

 

(From left: Morsani in 2015 and my mockup of the domed stadium, moved from its original site by a block to account for Raymond James Stadium)

 

Morsani, an adopted resident of the Tampa Bay area, was the president of the Tampa Bay Baseball Group. Morsani recruited individuals such as Ed Winton (radio), Bill Mack (cash), and Cedric Tallis (baseball operations expert) to join the group. They purchased the site of Al Lopez Field in 1983, planning to build a privately-funded domed stadium on the site, compared to the taxpayer-funded proposal put forth by the Pinellas Sports Authority/Sun Coast Baseball Ltd. in downtown St. Petersburg (the site of The Trop). They negotiated to buy controlling interests in several teams, which included the Twins, A’s, Rangers, and an expansion team. They eventually abandoned the plan for the Al Lopez Field site in 1990, partnering with the St. Petersburg investors in landing a team at the newly-constructed Suncoast Dome.2 Morsani would eventually pull out (due to financial duress) and the group would not land an expansion team or a relocated franchise (the closest they came was with the Rangers), leaving the whole operation empty-handed and with a $115 million lawsuit against MLB.3 The Al Lopez Field site now hosts Raymond James Stadium.


The St. Petersburg Groups - Pinellas Sports Authority/Bill Bunker/Rick Dodge, and Vince Naimoli

 

suncoast.jpg view 876601*500.jpg?v=1 18665mck14y0ujpg.jpg

 

(From left: model of The TropBill Bunker c. 1959-60s while attending/working at Florida State UniversityRick Dodge discussing the Rays' stadium woes in 2010, and Vince Naimoli with his ultimate prize (and horror stories of his ownership). 

 

The rival plan involved the “Gas Plant” site, an area of downtown St. Petersburg. It received criticism for being “less central,” a complaint that has persisted to the present day. In a quote from a period article:

 

Quote

For years, members of the Tampa Bay Baseball Group have insisted that Tampa is the only logical site for baseball in the bay area. They reasoned that Tampa was centrally located and would be a shorter drive for baseball fans in the Orlando area.4

 

Headed up by Bill Bunker of the Pinellas Sports Authority and St. Petersburg City Manager Rick Dodge, the proposal asked for public money (which amounted to $85 million in 1988, which balooned with time due to toxic cleanup problems and other issues - $138 million). It also went through an "open air with tarp over it" phase in 1983, before being rejected for not hosting non-baseball events. They courted interest from several teams, such as the Pirates and White Sox. With attention from White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf (who wanted out of Old Comiskey), the stadium got approval from the City Council on July 24, 1986. Ground broke in November 1986, with construction finishing in 1990.5 However, eleventh-hour dealing in Illinois kept the Sox in Chicago.6  

 

Reinsdorf’s turn away did not dissuade Tampa Bay investors and officials. Dodge tried to lure struggling Mariners owner Jeff Smulyan into moving the team to St. Pete in 1991/92, be it through relocation or a sale. However, Nintendo stepped in to buy the team after a long dispute with the other MLB owners.7 A group led by Vince Naimoli (President of Anchor Glass Container Corp.) in 1992 made the most successful attempt at relocation, offering $115 million to buy the Giants from Bob Lurie. However, after a successful $100 million counter-offer from Safeway CEO Peter Magowan gained the 9-4 approval of the other National League owners.8 Naimoli then sued Major League Baseball for $3.5 billion in an antitrust suit, prompting the creation of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.9

 

I’ll go into more detail on each individual entry, but this is the “master post” that will provide the basic outline/timeline of events.

 

First up, a bit of co-branding!

 

Frank Morsani and Dave Scheiber, To Be Frank: Building the American Dream in Business and Life (Tampa: BlackWood Books, 2015), 121-22; Anders Gyllenhaal, “Tampa, St. Pete Slug It out for a Baseball Franchise,” The Miami Herald, July 18, 1983, sec. Front; AP, “Expansion: It’s Not If, but Rather When and Where - Panel Studying Adding up to Six More Teams,” The Seattle Times, March 3, 1985, sec. Sports; Peter Richmond, “Moving Teams: Logical, Unlikely,” The Miami Herald, April 30, 1985, sec. Front; John Jackson, “Cities in the Running for Possible Expansion,” The Record, November 7, 1985.

 

2 Kenneth S. Allen and Robert Samek, “Baseball Group Unity Brings Decision Time,” Tampa Bay Times, December 31, 1988, sec. Tampa Bay and State; Gyllenhaal, “Tampa, St. Pete Slug It out for a Baseball Franchise;” Morsani and Scheiber, To Be Frank, 121-40.; “Tampa Baseball Group Pays Overdue Fee,” Tampa Bay Times, January 26, 1989, sec. Tampa Bay and State; David Olinger, Robert Samek, and Thomas C. Tobin, “Baseball Cold War Warms up in Bay Area,” Tampa Bay Times, December 25, 1988, sec. Tampa Bay and State; Marc Topkin, “Former Expansion Rivals Join Forces with Porter,” Tampa Bay Times, February 20, 1991, sec. Sports; UPI, “Tampa to Build Domed Stadium,” The New York Times, January 13, 1984, sec. Sports, https://www.nytimes.com/1984/01/13/sports/tampa-to-build-domed-stadium.html.

 

3 AP, “Tampa Investors Settle with MLB,” Sarasota Herald, September 27, 2003, sec. Sports, https://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20030927/News/605227064.

 

4 Olinger, Samek, and Tobin, “Baseball Cold War Warms up in Bay Area.”

 

5 Derek Carton, “Dodge: St. Petersburg’s ‘Road Raider,’” Orlando Sentinel, August 23, 1992, sec. Sports, http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1992-08-23/sports/9208230193_1_rick-dodge-bunker-petersburg-mayor; Eric Okurowski, “StadiumPage.Com - 1983 St. Petersburg Concept,” Stadium Page, 2012, http://www.stadiumpage.com/concepts/83StPete_R.html; Deborah Sharp, “ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - As Steel Beams Rise from a Construction Site in This City’s Downtown, Controversy Simmers over the Major League Baseball Stadium Some Locals Have Dubbed the ‘Dumb Dome.,’” USA Today, March 16, 1988; Marc Topkin, “From White Sox to Giants to Devil Rays, It’s Been a Long Trip - How the Team Was Won,” Tampa Bay Times, March 31, 1988, sec. Sports; Russ White, “Florida Suncoast Dome: A Gem Without A Diamond St. Petersburg’s $309 Million Arena To Open Saturday,” Orlando Sentinel, February 25, 1990, sec. Sports, http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1990-02-25/sports/9002253309_1_building-the-dome-suncoast-dome-florida-suncoast.

 

6 Michael Martinez and Special To the New York Times, “White Sox Are Safe at Home,” The New York Times, July 2, 1988, sec. Sports, https://www.nytimes.com/1988/07/02/sports/white-sox-are-safe-at-home.html.

 

7 Tom Farreyjoni Balter, “M’s Sale Gets Go-Ahead - Full Acceptance of Offer Predicted for Tomorrow,” The Seattle Times, June 9, 1992, sec. News; Ron Judd, “Bail-Out? Floridians All Smiles for Smulyan,” The Seattle Times, August 24, 1991, sec. Northwest.

 

8 Topkin, “From White Sox to Giants to Devil Rays, It’s Been a Long Trip - How the Team Was Won;” “Owners Approve Giants’ Non-Move,” Tampa Bay Times, January 13, 1993, sec. Sports.

 

9 AP, “Tampa Group Sues For $3.5 Billion,” The Seattle Times, November 13, 1992, sec. Sports http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19921113&slug=1524459; Topkin, “From White Sox to Giants to Devil Rays, It’s Been a Long Trip - How the Team Was Won.”

 

Further Reading: Stadium For Rent: Tampa Bay's Quest for Major League Baseball by Bob Andelman and To Be Frank: Building the American Dream in Business and Life by Frank Morsani and Dave Scheiber.

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TAMPA BAY PIRATES - Vesting the local lore

 

Tampa Bay Sweepstakes Intro

 

The first team up-to-bat was the Pirates, during the Three Rivers Stadium lease negotiations and Galbreath sale talks mentioned in my New Orleans and Denver Pirates concepts. Journalists brought up Tampa Bay, along with the District of Colombia and Denver, as a potential landing spot for the club in the mid-1980s.1 Judging by the information relayed in the intro post, we can assume that the Bill Bunker and Rick Dodge courted the Galbreaths to either move to St. Petersburg or sell to Tampa Bay area ownership. Due to a relative lack of information about potential buyers, one can assume that interest in St. Pete (and DC) petered out as the sale proceedings went forward and the Galbreaths sold the team to the Pittsburgh Associates group.However, what if either the blackmail didn't work or a Tampa Bay area ownership group materialized?

 

I figured that the name and colors wouldn't change, seeing as how Tampa Bay area has a long history with pirates and piracy in the form of the apocryphal early-19th century pirate José Gaspar (inspiration for the Gasparilla Pirate Festival).3 It's a large part of the region's lore, so much that, well:

 

maxresdefault.jpg 1763600.jpg 

 

The challenge was to brand the Pirates in a way that didn't conflict with the Buccaneers. I couldn't use a portrait of a pirate (Bucco Bruce) or a jolly roger or a pirate ship (the post-1997 identities and the literal cartoon pirate ship at the RayJay). So, I decide to merge my old jolly roger design with a ship's wheel, akin to a necklace from the manga/anime One Piece. I lifted this specific rendering off of a Clippers concept I made in 2014. The new interlocking "TB" (based on my Minnesota Giants' "TC") resides at the top of the crest. The font for the cap logo and wordmarks is a modified version of Ocean Beach, which I used for both my New York and Minnesota Giants concepts. The secondary is the cap logo, while the tertiary is the skull & bats on its own.

 

pVeeNnU.png

 

The big change-up when it comes to the uniforms is that I brought back classic-cut vests! Since the team is playing in a more seafaring location and doesn't have the same complex trim that the New Orleans variant showcased, I figured it'd be appropriate. Condensed block NoB's appear here, as does a modified version of Ocean Beach's numeral set.

 

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The alternates feature a gold jersey with the early-1970s jacket script, alongside a black jersey with one-color lettering and sleeves. The tertiary is on the undersleeves of the gold vest.

 

SBx3lJn.png

 

The second set of alternates are imports from my Project 32 Pirates concept, namely the 1973 home uniform for Roberto Clemente Day and the pillbox cap (now with a TB - I figured it'd stick around until 1986 like it did in our timeline).

 

rLfGaoD.png

 

The dugout jacket uses the "TB" as a chest insignia.

 

GtGAS4j.png

 

The identity adapted well to the new location, while avoiding looking too much like the Buccaneers. This relocation would have been a terrible one for baseball (no PNC Park and losing a historical club to a market with overestimated potential), but the brand could have stuck around and thrived (maybe in an open-air, Marlins Park-esque, or sail-like venue). C+C is appreciated, as always!

 

Up next, let's get fishy.

 

1 Associated Press, “Some Pirates Pleased About Potential Move,” San Francisco Chronicle, August 9, 1985, sec. Sports; Craig Neff, “The Pirates Are Strictly The Pits,” Sports Illustrated, September 9, 1985, https://www.si.com/vault/1985/09/09/628076/the-pirates-are-strictly-the-pits; UPI, “Pirates Considering New Orleans Move,” Ellensburg Daily Record, April 24, 1981, https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=EwEyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Ko8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=4526%2C2263727

2 Alan Robinson, “Pittsburgh Pirates Sold to Mayor, Steel City Businesses,” AP NEWS, accessed November 8, 2018, https://apnews.com/5d21c423c559d25b5c37f187b832e496.

3 Kenneth Hall, “Seed for Gasparilla Was Planted in the Tribune’s Old Newsroom,” The Tampa Tribune, January 19, 2012, https://web.archive.org/web/20140202094330/http://tbo.com/seed-for-gasparilla-was-planted-in-the-tribunes-old-newsroom-346621.

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I love everything about this set! The modified number font looks great...better than their current font (hate their #2).

 

Also, that 1970’s jacket script has now become a MUST.....it’s fantastic!

 

 

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Big fan of the steering wheel secondary. That's something the Pittsburgh Pirates could get away with incorporating. And that number set might be a step up for the actual Buccos as well, as it fixes up some of the set's clunkier numbers (2 and 5 in particular) while still reading as undeniably Pirates numbers.

 

We've all talked about PIrates/Giants similarities before -- the Pittsburgh-style TB looks a lot like the Giants' SF, but how much will really be put to the test on the Tampa Bay Giants.

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I dig the interlocking crest. Not when it's a standalone, but when it's subtly folded into the pirate wheel crest logo.

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The TB Pirates look sharp! No complaints here.

 

Just a wild guess here, but I assume the Tarpons are next?

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The Tamps Bay Pirates are lovely.  If the IRL Pirates went back to vests, I'd want them to look as close to this as possible. The number font plus the the new "TB" cap look great, the ship wheel is a clever logo & you even made the pillbox cap look good with said TB logo. Zero complaints. 

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