Megildur

United Baseball Association - Denver Is Up! (3/32)

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In a parallel universe, the United Baseball Association (UBA) began play in 1921 and is currently in the 2019 season. The UBA was established with 16 teams, but has since doubled to 32 teams split across two leagues, the Continental and Federal Leagues. Each league has four divisions, with four teams in each. Each division winner makes the playoffs for a total of eight playoff teams and they compete for the Maynard Trophy, which is named after a former commissioner. The last significant realignment/expansion came in the 1996-97 offseason. I’ve simulated out the league in OOTP 19 to build a history from which I will create concepts. Unless otherwise mentioned, all my locations and team names are set. I’ll slowly release the division alignments as I post team concepts.

 
I personally like the classic, traditional feel that MLB logos and uniforms have. My goal has been to create concepts that would fit into the MLB looks-wise. To start off, each team will have four uniforms at most. At least one white home, one gray away, and then an alternate or two if I so choose. I may make some throwbacks at some point too, but I’m trying to avoid getting carried away and never completing this because I bit off more than I can chew.
 
These are the first concepts I’ve posted here, though I’ve lurked here for awhile. I can’t afford the monthly cost for the Adobe package, so instead I pounced on a recent Affinity Designer sale and have been working on learning the program. I’ve seen several great concepts and series here, and I’ve been specifically inspired by dsaline97’s United States Baseball League, especially given how detailed the concepts and backstories were. I’m using rsaline’s amazing template for my concepts, so thank you for posting that for others to use.
 
Anyways, now that I’ve made you read this far, here’s the league logo for the United Baseball Association, of which the influence of the MLB logo is clear. It's not terribly original. Points to you if you can guess who the pitcher is. I wanted something simple for the league logo, so that I could quickly move onto the actual teams. Perhaps I’ll revisit this later. The first team will be posted immediately after this, as we head to the Empire State for the first concept.
 
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Teams:
New York Emperors (FL East)
Indianapolis Unions (FL North)
Denver Bison (CL North)

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I’m in the midst of simulating through May 2019, where the New York Emperors are currently in 2nd place in the Federal League’s East Division. One of the league’s original teams and largest markets, the Emperors have been around since 1921, though they only have 4 championships (1951, 1984, 1998, and 2000) to show for it. Their best period of success in the past few decades came from 1995 to 2002, when the Emperors made the playoffs five times and won two titles. However, since then, New York has only made one playoff appearance, which came in all the way back in 2007.

 

In 2019, New York is an offensive powerhouse measuring in the top 3 of all major team batting stats except stolen bases so far. The Emperors are led by switch-hitting 2B Sam Wiley,  New York’s third round draft pick out of high school back in 2011. At just 26-years-old, Wiley led the FL with 7.7 WAR last season, his first full season in the UBA, and continues to lead the team in 2019. New York has struggled to form a decent pitching staff in recent seasons and this season is no different as the team is 12th in the FL in runs allowed this season. One of many big pickups that New York signed from the free agent market this past offseason is 31-year-old SP Jim Thompson, a big right-hander out of California. With a career 3.28 ERA, he’s tasked with leading New York’s starting rotation.

 

New York is named after the state’s nickname as the Empire State. Once the Empire State Building was completed in 1931, the ball club began to take on imagery attached to the building, but a common misconception amongst fans is that the team was named after the building. The maroon is a staple of the Emperors’ identity, as New York have played their entire history with maroon as their primary color. The Emperors are one of only a few UBA teams to sport their numbers on their sleeves, but they manage to pull it off well. The first alternate, the powder blue set, is a recent addition to the lineup and is worn primarily on Sunday day games at home. The second alternate, worn only on the road, sees more game action, though the gray set is their primary road uniform. The NY monogram is their primary logo, with the roundel used more in merchandise and around the stadium than in actual gameplay.

 

UPDATE: I removed the numbers from the sleeves of the Home, Away, and Alt 1, and replaced them with the roundel logo. Hopefully the team now stands out from its Phillies' inspiration now.

 

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My inspirations for this set were the maroon and powder blue Phillies, from which I also nabbed the numbers-on-sleeves idea. As for the monogram, I wanted a vastly different logo than the Yankees or Mets’ NY logos, so I went scrolling through a google image search of “ny monogram” and sketched out various ideas from what I saw. The NY you see here came from adapting ideas I found there.

 

Let me know what you think! C&C is appreciated.

 

Spoiler

Version 1, with numbers on the sleeve. Alternate 2 remained the same since it already had the roundel on the sleeve rather than numbers.

 

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This looks like it’s gonna be good!

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Looks great, only problem I have is the Philles homage might be a little too on the nose. Maybe remove the sleeve numbers?

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Solid start! Looking forward to seeing where this series goes.

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On 6/17/2020 at 10:55 PM, ItsSlothy said:

This looks like it’s gonna be good!

 

4 hours ago, coco1997 said:

Solid start! Looking forward to seeing where this series goes.

 

Thanks for the kind words! I appreciate the compliments.

 

4 hours ago, NDFreek said:

Looks great, only problem I have is the Philles homage might be a little too on the nose. Maybe remove the sleeve numbers?

 

I can certainly see how it's too Phillies-esque. I was hoping the block font wordmark would be enough to differentiate, but I'll certainly change out the sleeve numbers for the roundel when I post an update. I do like how the front of the jerseys look without a number though, so I plan to keep it that way.

 

Additionally, I edited the first post by adding a logo sheet for the league logo that just has a cleaner appearance and fits more in line with my team presentations.

 

NEXT UP: We make a stop in Railroad City, the site of one of the first union stations in the country.

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Looks great so far. I agree the Emperors look a little too similar to the Phillies, but it's still a very cohesive and aesthetically-pleasing uniform set. I also really like the modern take on the NY monogram. 

Looking forward to seeing where this series goes! Keep up the great work. 

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8 hours ago, jbird669 said:

Very cool! Looking forward to this. 

 

8 hours ago, ~Bear said:

Looks great so far. I agree the Emperors look a little too similar to the Phillies, but it's still a very cohesive and aesthetically-pleasing uniform set. I also really like the modern take on the NY monogram. 

Looking forward to seeing where this series goes! Keep up the great work. 

 

Thanks! I'm glad the NY monogram is well-received.

 

I posted an update to New York above, so let's move on to the next team: Indianapolis.

 

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As New York battles Toronto in the Federal League’s East Division, Indianapolis finds itself in third position in the FL’s North Division. At 14-12 on the season, the Unions sit a half game back from Detroit and three back from the first place St. Louis team. The Unions began play in 1921 as the Washington Potomacs, but lackluster play and attendance meant a move and new name in Indianapolis, starting with the 1949 season. The franchise won the 1926 championship in Washington, but the team has failed to win in Indianapolis. The ball club made it to the Maynard Trophy Series in 2015, but lost in seven hard-fought games to Baltimore.

 

Despite the recent playoff run, the team retains only four players from that 2015 season, as the team features a starting lineup with an average age of 26 and an only slightly older pitching staff. SP's Jason Torossian and Tim Boyette had minor roles in 2015, though Torossian only started 12 games due to injury and Boyette pitched in relief. Since then, the 30-year-old Torossian’s injury struggles have continued. Despite only two seasons with more than 160 innings pitched, Jason won the 2013 FL Pitcher of the Year Award and is ranked as the UBA’s #2 pitcher currently. Predictably though, Torossian is on the disabled list for the next two weeks with elbow inflammation, so 27-year-old Boyette is tasked with leading the Unions’ rotation until Torossian’s return. Boyette is more than capable of the task though, as he has made the past two All-Star teams and he ranks as UBA’s 18th best pitcher.

 

The Unions are named after Union Station in Indianapolis, which Wikipedia credits as one of the first union stations in the country. The name honors the city’s nickname of “Railroad City," and the state’s motto as the “Crossroads of America,” due to the city’s history as a major transportation hub (Wikipedia). The team takes significant imagery from the city flag, which was adopted in 1963 (Wikipedia). The original Unions’ jersey sets were monochrome with a hand-drawn script, as seen by the 1972 throwback. The mid-1980’s refresh of the club made the city flag the central part of the team’s look and introduced red, which has since stuck. The 1972 throwback marks the first playoff appearance for the city and was coincidentally the last season of the look, as the team moved to beltless pants the following year. The throwback is worn on the occasional weekend home game, while the alt is reserved for away games, where it sees about a 50/50 split of gametime with the primary gray away set.

 

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I thought I was so original with the whole white letter i wrapped in red on a blue hat, but it turns out that that’s not accurate. Italy’s 2017 World Baseball Classic cap is the exact same, except it has an Italian flag on the side. Sugar Honey Iced Tea. There are Dodgers, Cubs, and Phillies’ influences in this set too, though hopefully not as strong as the prior Phillies influence in my Emperors' concept.

 

Once again, thanks for viewing! Do you prefer New York with the sleeve numbers or no? Do you like Indianapolis? Let me know what you think.

 

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Man o’ man just wait until the guys over at the OOTP forums see this! So far, soooo good. I like the whole look of Indianapolis. The Unions script with the ball star(?) replacing the dot is a nice touch. I think maybe New York’s sleeve numbers could just be a home jersey thing. Can’t wait to see more.

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The Unions have a nice, classic baseball identity. Definitely reminds me a lot of the Cubs and Dodgers.

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On 6/20/2020 at 1:55 PM, Raptorman415 said:

Man o’ man just wait until the guys over at the OOTP forums see this! So far, soooo good. I like the whole look of Indianapolis. The Unions script with the ball star(?) replacing the dot is a nice touch. I think maybe New York’s sleeve numbers could just be a home jersey thing. Can’t wait to see more.

 

On 6/20/2020 at 4:08 PM, coco1997 said:

The Unions have a nice, classic baseball identity. Definitely reminds me a lot of the Cubs and Dodgers.

 

Thanks, y'all! I'm glad the Unions have been well-received. The white star in a red circle atop the I is just the part of the roundel, not intentionally a ball, but I'm glad you noticed it and liked it. 

 

I had the next team all finished and ready, but I think it needs a bit of fixing before I release it just yet. It'll feature a lot of red, yellow, and blue -- which is a part of the city's flag. Here's a teaser of the team:

 

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Last summer, I had the idea of doing a hand-drawn UBA, though that never really got off the ground. My first two designs were Indianapolis and New York. I made changes as I converted them into digital concepts, but here are the original ideas:

 

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Great series so far!

 

New York is a strong, classic baseball look that fits the city. I especially like your unique take on an interlocking NY. 
 

Indianapolis looks great, and as an Indy resident I’d proudly rep the team. I love the name - great job finding a unique Indianapolis inspiration (i.e. not racing). I also like how the Unions script looks like it’s been around forever (and it has according to the throwback), meaning it’s not super clean like many modern scripts but also doesn’t look sloppy and unprofessional. The references to the city flag are great too. And as far as the overall look, I like the combo of Dodgers-inspired home and Cubs-inspired road - funny how they go together perfectly. 
 

Looking forward to the rest of this series!

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You absolutely knocked Indy out of the park! Like mbannon said props to you for not doing any racing imagery. I was going to suggest dropping the ‘s’ in Unions, but the name grew on me a lot. You made a really traditional identity package that feels unique. Great work

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Can’t wait to see Denver next... the only city that makes logical sense to me based on the tease. Love the series, but haven’t commented because all my issues have been addressed. That primary logo for New York is way too good to be overshadowed by numbers on the sleeve. I’m very happy with that change.

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On 6/22/2020 at 9:34 AM, mbannon92 said:

Great series so far!

 

New York is a strong, classic baseball look that fits the city. I especially like your unique take on an interlocking NY. 
 

Indianapolis looks great, and as an Indy resident I’d proudly rep the team. I love the name - great job finding a unique Indianapolis inspiration (i.e. not racing). I also like how the Unions script looks like it’s been around forever (and it has according to the throwback), meaning it’s not super clean like many modern scripts but also doesn’t look sloppy and unprofessional. The references to the city flag are great too. And as far as the overall look, I like the combo of Dodgers-inspired home and Cubs-inspired road - funny how they go together perfectly. 
 

Looking forward to the rest of this series!

 

On 6/22/2020 at 12:11 PM, NDFreek said:

You absolutely knocked Indy out of the park! Like mbannon said props to you for not doing any racing imagery. I was going to suggest dropping the ‘s’ in Unions, but the name grew on me a lot. You made a really traditional identity package that feels unique. Great work

 

On 6/22/2020 at 1:19 PM, TheHealthiestScratch said:

Can’t wait to see Denver next... the only city that makes logical sense to me based on the tease. Love the series, but haven’t commented because all my issues have been addressed. That primary logo for New York is way too good to be overshadowed by numbers on the sleeve. I’m very happy with that change.

 

Thanks for the kind words! I was hoping the Unions name would be liked, though I wasn't sure how well it would be received. I thought about the whole Unions vs Union thing a bit, but for my goal of it being a classic sounding team name, I felt that plural was the way to go. That I got approval from an Indy resident means a lot! The New York roundel was something I'd been doodling for awhile, so I'm glad it came out better than I imagined and that it's gotten so much love.

 

As for the Denver prediction...you're right! NEXT UP: the national mammal of the United States makes a grand appearance.

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Without the full context of how the rest of the divisions look, the placement of Denver within the Continental League’s North Division may raise some eyebrows. The southernmost team in the division, the Bison have oftentimes found themselves occupying the bottom slot of the division too in the past 20 seasons. However, back-to-back playoff appearances in 2016 and 2017, as well as a 91-win finish last season bode well for the talented ball club. With just a 12-14 record on the season so far, Denver will need to turn it around to continue their recent streak of winning seasons. It’s unlikely that the Bison will ever replicate their period of dominance from 1973 to 1979 though, when Denver won three of their four championships and made the playoffs in seven straight seasons.

 

SS Dustin Reeves and SP Colin McKendry are the stars of the Bison, though their supporting cast is deep in talent too. At 26-years-old, Reeves is one of the top shortstops in the league, and is known for his aggressive batting and potentially award-worthy defense. Soon-to-be free agent McKendry joined Denver via a trade from Jacksonville in 2016 and has since pitched to a 2.52 ERA with the club. He’s praised for his excellent control and durable arm. Other stars include 3x Gold Glover at 1B, Miguel Tafoya, and five-time All-Star Alan Sullivan, the highest paid catcher currently with a $24.6 million per year contract through his age 33 season in 2023.

 

The Denver ball club is named after the national mammal of the United States, the American bison. Denver is on the edge of the Great Plains, the historical habitat for bison. Once numbering in the millions, the animal was nearly driven to extinction by overhunting and bovine diseases (Wikipedia). Also worthy of note, the bison has historical and cultural significance to many Native American tribes. The Bison is an appropriate name for a team from Colorado,

 

Denver is one of the few teams to feature yellow heavily. The color scheme comes from both the Denver city flag and the Colorado state flag. Both existed before the club was established in 1959, as a part of the first UBA expansion. The sleeve logo is simply the Bison across a baseball, a beloved logo from Denver's dynastic years of the 1970's that made a reappearance in recent years after the red and dark brown phase of the 1990's. The jerseys are pretty simple, though the lack of number on the front isn't typical of a UBA team, despite New York sporting the same style. The Bison also feature a second cap, though it's worn only at home, mostly with the red alternate. Denver doesn't shy away from wearing their alts though, but the red is only worn at home and the blue only on the road.

 

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So, as far as my inspirations go, I used the formula of Angels + Blue Jays = Bison to make this team...just kidding. Or am I?

 

I chose a non-unique color scheme for a Colorado-based concept here, which meant I returned to the drawing board after having already finished the team once before. The yellow-heavy look is a bit of a risk, but from what I've seen, most Colorado concepts haven't done it before. As for the main roundel logo, I'm curious to how it will be received. I think there's too much negative space in it, but I couldn't figure out how to balance it better. I also went back and changed up the bison, which is why the second cap is now different from the original teaser. As always, let me know what you think and thank for you for all the great input so far!

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You really found a way to make the Colorado flag color scheme not obnoxious in this like many other concepts in the past have done. Well done once again. 
 

I think the roundel is fine. Maybe add some more color to it? Can we see the full sized original bison to compare it to the updated version?

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I really like it! Red Blue and Yellow always looks good and is very underused. What would the D logo look like without the point on the inside, just the outside.

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Denver looks really nice. The Angels font works great here, and I think the yellow-heavy look is a success, as the navy cap, undershirt, and socks help balance things out. I agree with NDFreek on the roundel - maybe try navy with yellow text instead of the white with navy text. 

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