raysox

Alternative History of Defunct Baseball Teams - Sacramento Solons Phase 3

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I can't quite place the genesis of this idea. For years I've kicked around an a spreadsheet with what the MLB would look like if the AAA Pacific Coast League, known for it's skill level in the 50s, evolved into a 3rd major league in 1958. The idea is fun because so much would be different if that ever happened. You'd have names like the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Angels still around, but then the Seattle Rainiers, Portland Beavers, and Sacramento Solons would continue to exist. 

The Dodgers wanted to move west to LA, and brought the Giants with them, ultimately ending the possibility.

 

A few weeks ago, i got lost in the thread about a third major league in the sports in general board. I didn't know this, but the Continental League was starting to form in 1960. Houston, Dallas, New York, Denver, Minnesota, Toronto, and Atlanta would all have team names that existed for decades, and Buffalo would have a Major League team. This was bound to happen, but didn't before MLB approved expansion to Los Angeles(Angels), and DC(post Twins move). The Mets(owned by William Shea, the leader of the Continental League), and Houston Colt 45's joined the next year.

 

The team names have been dead for about as long as they existed in the first place. But what if the Continental League of Pacific Coast League ever formed to major league level?

 

So that's where I come in.

 

I noticed a trend with the expansion era MLB teams. It came and went with trends in graphic design, fashion, merchandising, and nostalgia.

 

PHASE 1: A strong brand in the  70s and 80s. Establishes for decades without change, as teams create fans. Noticeable cartoony logos, bright colors, and simple design.Phase1.png

PHASE 2: The world became dark, and extreme. Teams ditched their brands for expanded merchandise options and better t-shirt printing.

Phase2.png

PHASE 3: Turns out the 90s were rough on design, and it might be worth completely adjusting what defines your team.

Phase3.png

PHASE 4: People miss the simple design, and we can sell much more merchandise than we had been.

Phase4.png

 

Now, i'm certainly simplifying things. Not every team can fit into this formula. The Twins and Royals have refined their Phase 1. The Mariners need a refresh from their Phase 2 set. The Angels are in Phase 3 and I wish they'd bring back the California Angels branding. The Rockies are holding strong in Phase 2. The Marlins are sprinting towards this pattern. The Diamondbacks just love playing with colors.


There's also this.

PHASES2.jpg

 

How is this a concept? Well sit tight and continue reading.

 

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This thread will be full of revisionist history. Some teams existed past the 1960 date, and have influenced my concepts slightly. I justify this because not every team has all 4 phases into history. The longer a team was around, the less I'm inclined to create concepts for. Some good examples are the Buffalo Bisons, and Portland Beavers(RIP).

 

The Sacramento Solons are named after the Greek senator Solon, which was a reference to the California senators in the city. I took that as a sign to lean into the Greek symbolism. The Mets started the racing stripes trend in baseball in 1982. The MLB Solons would follow with a Greek pattern running all over the god damn place. The mascot logo of a bearded Solon is a bastard of if the Swinging Friar was the Orioles bird. The S logo is from Wikipedia. It's the first thing you see when you look into this team, and I cannot find the source outside Wiki. The 1970s Solons wore a block S logo, but I really liked the english S as the cap logo for Sacramento.

Sacramento-P1.png

 

Next: Sacramento Solons Phase 2.

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Oooh, this is a really intriguing premise for a series. The possibilities really are endless. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this thread!

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Is that a tear in Solon's closed eye?

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I’m pretty excited for this. This is a fantastic idea, and I’ve never really thought about the phases. Will definitely follow!

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1 minute ago, neo_prankster said:

Is that a tear in Solon's closed eye?

😉

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I really like the uniforms and that script s but I’ve never been a fan of cartoon logos.

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I almost wonder if the main logo would look more era-specific if the cartoon head were placed on a baseball. Then maybe curve “Solons” around the baseball?

 

Or you could curve the script and encase the whole thing in a baseball?

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6 hours ago, MrFreckles said:

I almost wonder if the main logo would look more era-specific if the cartoon head were placed on a baseball. Then maybe curve “Solons” around the baseball?

 

Or you could curve the script and encase the whole thing in a baseball?

That’s a good idea, I just didn’t want to make it exactly like the Padres off the bat. Maybe down the line I can explore that route.

44 minutes ago, nick_crenshaw82 said:

Are you combining the PCL with the Continental League? What names are you use for the Continental League? Will the PoD of the TL be 1958?

I’m not sure about the specifics because my list is so big, but right now it’s imagining the teams of the PCL, CL, then a few more. I’m defaulting to minor league team names that existed prior to 1960, so it won’t be hard to figure out who I plan to do.

 

on top of that, I have some ideas for non-AAA teams to make the jump in large markets. New Orleans Pelicans and Charlotte Hornets come to mind, and I’m not talking about basketball

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As the world rolls into the 90s and pro baseball player's biceps keep expanding, the Solons move to a black and red look. I went for a not so subtle Greek building with the pillars being baseball bats. The font becomes more in your face, and the cap logo becomes harder to stitch than it needs to be.

Sacramento-P2.png

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I like this brand evolution for the Solons. I much prefer their original look, but this is certainly very '90s. 

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I love how realistic this is. That’s what puts you and @SFGiants58 a step ahead of everyone else. It’s not that designs are that much better, but it’s the ideas and how real-life it is. Incredible work again, raysox!

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Truly enjoying this so far and can't wait to see the rest of this series.

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I like the laurels around the cap logo. This reminds me of a Buffalo Sabres-esque evolution in color way and logo treatment.

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90's Solons looking great so far.

 

Looking forward to this series continuing on.

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Firstly, I want to say that I love this idea, and although I could argue your thesis of this piece and the phases concept, it’s an intriguing idea nonetheless, and fantastic . The Phase 1 Solons logo seems more like a product of its time for the sake of being a product of its time than really fitting the mold of the Phase 1 teams. Something important to keep in mind for why phase 1 is so special is that in those cases, especially the Jays off the bat and the Astros after the sunrise uniforms, as well as the all lowercase padres looks, is that they were products of their time that tried to anticipate the future. Nothing about the Solons look indicates to me, at least, that this design was meant to be looking towards the future. Also, I can’t put my finger on it, maybe it’s the stroke caps on every single line being squared off, but I have a hard time thinking that is deserves to be a major league logo. Maybe mess with those, if you’re willing, to see how much of a difference it might make. For the 1994 Solons look, the only thing I really have a problem with is the font. I don’t know why, but a more angular font might make it feel more “90s for 90s sake”. Also on the away uniforms, a white outline would probably make the numbers pop more. I’m really excited to see this series fleshed out, however. You’ve been an inspiration to me for all my years on here, and I’m always excited when you start a new series. Super hyped for this, as always, but a little more willing to give suggestions now :P 

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1 hour ago, Htown1141 said:

Firstly, I want to say that I love this idea, and although I could argue your thesis of this piece and the phases concept, it’s an intriguing idea nonetheless, and fantastic . The Phase 1 Solons logo seems more like a product of its time for the sake of being a product of its time than really fitting the mold of the Phase 1 teams. Something important to keep in mind for why phase 1 is so special is that in those cases, especially the Jays off the bat and the Astros after the sunrise uniforms, as well as the all lowercase padres looks, is that they were products of their time that tried to anticipate the future. Nothing about the Solons look indicates to me, at least, that this design was meant to be looking towards the future. Also, I can’t put my finger on it, maybe it’s the stroke caps on every single line being squared off, but I have a hard time thinking that is deserves to be a major league logo. Maybe mess with those, if you’re willing, to see how much of a difference it might make. For the 1994 Solons look, the only thing I really have a problem with is the font. I don’t know why, but a more angular font might make it feel more “90s for 90s sake”. Also on the away uniforms, a white outline would probably make the numbers pop more. I’m really excited to see this series fleshed out, however. You’ve been an inspiration to me for all my years on here, and I’m always excited when you start a new series. Super hyped for this, as always, but a little more willing to give suggestions now :P 

I really really appreciate this because for the most part it's just me doing observations. I can try to explain my thinking though!

So my thinking with Phase 1 is more a Padres-Orioles mashup. Back when cartoonists could do a graphic designer's job. The futuristic comment is really smart and not something I had realized, but for a team based on 600BC Greece, it might not be the time and place for that. That's a really good take though and will think about how that works in the landscape of it all. 

 

Totally fair comment about the font, i can look at it some more later. My thinking was outline overload, and drop shadow. This specific font reminded me of the Phoenix Suns which was introduced in that era, and the Cubs' similar font in the circle logo was enough for me to justify it.

 

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Posted (edited)

Just wanted to do a quick bump. I had an idea for the Denver Bears Phase 2 brand and built that, and was playing with plans for them while I sat on Solons. I have a general idea of what I want for Phase 3 and 4, but wanted to sidetrack.

Also feel free to name some teams and I can tell you if I have plans to do them!

Edited by raysox

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