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Some Plausible MLB Expansion Teams


raysox
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Hey dorks. 

 

So, like all my other projects, this was started with the prospects of making a OOTP save. I've never just played a real life game while expanding the MLB. It would be fun to build up a farm system from nothing. Obviously the first team is Montreal (although i'll send their asses to Puerto Rico if they touch my Rays), but then the crowd behind them is a little more spread out. Off the top of my head Nashville, and Portland have posted real stadium renderings. Then Vegas has been in the mix, and so has Raleigh & Charlotte equally.

How was I going to cut the perfect division alignment up as I expand to 32? Would I split rivals for geographic integrity? Would two random divisions grow to 6? 


What if I just expanded by 6?


So that's what I did! Here's my thinking for each concept.

 

Portland Beavers

The Beavers are the historic name for minor league teams in Portland. They were moved in 2008, and that allowed the Timbers to develop the stadium into one of the best soccer-specific stadiums in the country. But the name is perfect, even if Oregon State shares it. So what I did is sketch a P and put a little beaver in the negative space (the P-hole if you will). I found a font that I've used before to make scripts, including a B that would double as a cool stand alone logo.

Jerseys-Portland-Beavers.png

 

San Antonio Armadillos

I was flipping between Austin and San Antonio, but the size of SA put it over the top. But the nickname was something that would follow no matter. I had visions of a deep eggplant/green/orange team. But once I put these logos next to where I plan to align them in MLB, it wasn't working. I revisited this over the course of a few days, and ended up deciding to lean into the idea that the Spurs also owned this team, plus it would allow me to dabble in the fiesta colors that everyone loves. Pretty straight forward.

Jerseys-San-Antonio-Armadillos.png

 

oh and I put this little dude on the sleeve

 

 

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Las Vegas Supernovas
You know what I hate? PREDICTABLE NAMES. Every gosh darn list of suggestions from when the Golden Knights were nameless were like the Card Sharks, or Gamblers, or High Rollers, or Black Jacks.


Cmon guys, be more creative.

Anyways, I actually was stuck on this one pretty bad. I was cycling through my fonts and saw a font named "Nova Square" (which I didn't use). That got me thinking of the name Supernovas. What works is that you already have that shorthand of Novas. It's short, unique. Then it hit me to use the 4 point star on the Las Vegas sign as the center OF the supernova. bing bang boom, ya got a logo. I used the V-splosion logo in the scripts, which was a nice realization. Oh yeah, and if you love baby blue away unis you'll like this.

Jerseys-Vegas-Supernovas.png

 

Charlotte Dukes

To fit with the predictable naming, why would I name a sports team after a different sport? Racers are out. The historic minor league name is the Hornets, so that's a no-go. Charlotte is the Queen City, which is where you get the Knights & crown in Charlotte FC. Barons came to mind because of the banking hub, but it wasn't convincing. I'm racking my brain for regal names then one made me laugh out loud. My dad went to NC State and nothing was funnier than pissing off the two biggest rivals by naming a team the Carolina Dukes. 

Jerseys-Carolina-Dukes.png

 

So that's 4 of 5! I'm posting these now because I have a dilemma. I have this cool logo for Nashville and no name to go with it. The historic minor league name is the Vols, which would be weird to use for obvious reasons. But it's not even the first in-state college team I'd be lifting from. The expansion proposals have Stars as a name, which was a Negro League name. but with the Astros and now Supernovas - it was a nonstarter. Help!

 

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4 hours ago, raysox said:

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Go with Nashville Generals. The city was named in honor of Brigadier General Francis Nash of the Continental Army. General - later U.S. President - Andrew Jackson made his home at the Hermitage, located 10 miles east of downtown Nashville. Lieutenant General Frank Maxwell Andrews - one of the founders of the United States Army Air Forces (which would become the United States Air Force), commander of all United States forces in the European Theater of Operations for a period during World War II, and the namesake of Joint Base Andrews (formerly Andrews Air Force Base) - was born and raised in Nashville.

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All around super-solid work, unsurprisingly. Some thoughts:

 

POR: The main thing that sticks out to me is the whiskers on the beaver look like an odd mouth. I'd try either distancing them from each other or disconnecting them from the black of the P. Maybe even add an actual mouth. A very nice classic baseball look though, even though I think Portland's a city that could handle a touch of extra zaniness.

 

SA: It's actually incredible how much three fiesta stripes on each sleeve would elevate these uniforms. Completely love the primary logo though, executed perfectly. 

 

VSN: Yep, that's pink. Very smart decision, because it keeps it well out of too-safe territory, which is where it would be w/ grey road duds. Get the NOVAS word mark on that home jersey, stat, rn you're wasting a beautiful piece of symmetrical design. Great cap logo. 

 

CAR: Terrific in a vacuum, but it bothers me in a big way that they look just like the 2000's Rays. And that close geographically, too. They need a color change, imo. Clever use of the state shape as underline. 

 

NSH: Generals sounds good to me. Best logo of the bunch, I think.

 

Good stuff!

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1 hour ago, raysox said:

Hey dorks. 

 

So, like all my other projects, this was started with the prospects of making a OOTP save. I've never just played a real life game while expanding the MLB. It would be fun to build up a farm system from nothing. Obviously the first team is Montreal (although i'll send their asses to Puerto Rico if they touch my Rays), but then the crowd behind them is a little more spread out. Off the top of my head Nashville, and Portland have posted real stadium renderings. Then Vegas has been in the mix, and so has Raleigh & Charlotte equally.

How was I going to cut the perfect division alignment up as I expand to 32? Would I split rivals for geographic integrity? Would two random divisions grow to 6? 


What if I just expanded by 6?


So that's what I did! Here's my thinking for each concept.

 

Portland Beavers

The Beavers are the historic name for minor league teams in Portland. They were moved in 2008, and that allowed the Timbers to develop the stadium into one of the best soccer-specific stadiums in the country. But the name is perfect, even if Oregon State shares it. So what I did is sketch a P and put a little beaver in the negative space (the P-hole if you will). I found a font that I've used before to make scripts, including a B that would double as a cool stand alone logo.

Jerseys-Portland-Beavers.png

 

San Antonio Armadillos

I was flipping between Austin and San Antonio, but the size of SA put it over the top. But the nickname was something that would follow no matter. I had visions of a deep eggplant/green/orange team. But once I put these logos next to where I plan to align them in MLB, it wasn't working. I revisited this over the course of a few days, and ended up deciding to lean into the idea that the Spurs also owned this team, plus it would allow me to dabble in the fiesta colors that everyone loves. Pretty straight forward.

Jerseys-San-Antonio-Armadillos.png

 

oh and I put this little dude on the sleeve

 

 


Not criticizing... everything does look good... 

But I feel like if San Antonio were to ever get an MLB team, they would be called the "Defenders" or "Lone Stars" (S.A.L.S.). 

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9 hours ago, Bruins said:

All around super-solid work, unsurprisingly. Some thoughts:

 

POR: The main thing that sticks out to me is the whiskers on the beaver look like an odd mouth. I'd try either distancing them from each other or disconnecting them from the black of the P. Maybe even add an actual mouth. A very nice classic baseball look though, even though I think Portland's a city that could handle a touch of extra zaniness.

 

SA: It's actually incredible how much three fiesta stripes on each sleeve would elevate these uniforms. Completely love the primary logo though, executed perfectly. 

 

VSN: Yep, that's pink. Very smart decision, because it keeps it well out of too-safe territory, which is where it would be w/ grey road duds. Get the NOVAS word mark on that home jersey, stat, rn you're wasting a beautiful piece of symmetrical design. Great cap logo. 

 

CAR: Terrific in a vacuum, but it bothers me in a big way that they look just like the 2000's Rays. And that close geographically, too. They need a color change, imo. Clever use of the state shape as underline. 

 

NSH: Generals sounds good to me. Best logo of the bunch, I think.

 

Good stuff!

 

POR: You're the first person I heard say that you see a mouth where the whiskers are. I see it, but the tooth at the bottom of that shape is enough for me to think that i'm in the clear. Your suggestion does make me see a turtle with the fur spike being the ridge of the shell, haha.


SA: yeah sure, you're probably right. I'll try some stuff with that tonight. I think MLB has a pretty high standard for their uniforms, so my goal was to make unis that fit in with the crowd.


VSN: I did the NOVAS script with the intention to put it on the home, but there's something about the short bold name Vegas that stuck out to me as something a team based there would do. BUT if I ever get around to doing alternates, I envision the navy top to have NOVAS across it.


CAR: You know, I had this thought. But it's mostly because tons of concepts use the 2nd era Devil Rays green and current light blue. The mint color was taken from the Hornets Mint uniforms (cause ya know, banking). Originally I had it Green and Gold, which might be too close to UNC Charlotte, but I'll post that here at some point.

 

NSH: appreciate the suggestion @Brian in Boston. I did a fully custom OOTP league in about 2014 and Nashville had a somewhat similar logo to this, but it's a nickname lost to time. I remember a lot of them and they influenced my last baseball concept thread. That's the leader in the clubhouse right now, but i'll still source names if anyone has any additions

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Great designs! 

Beavers: Love the concept. Front numbers might not be a bad idea.

 

Armadillos: I think you missed a big opportunity by not having a segmented tail under the “Armadillos” script. Also, the colors are a little too close to the White Sox. Instead of black, how about a very dark brown, like an actual armadillo (unless you think that would infringe too much on San Diego)?

 

Supernovas: Very cool name. Love that you didn’t go with a gambling theme. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten so used to seeing Vegas baseball concepts use a black, red and gold color scheme, but I’d like to see navy swapped out for black. We don’t really need another navy and red MLB team, plus it would create some visual synergy with the Golden Knights and Raiders. I think it would contrast better with the pink better, too.


Dukes: Great color scheme. I wouldn’t worry about the slight similarity to the 2000s Devil Rays as we’re pretty far removed from that whole era at this point. The state outline under the scripts is great. 
 

Looking forward to Nashville!

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Another raysox series, you love to see it. I do have some comments for you.

 

Portland - Amazing update of a classic minor league identity. I'm not the biggest fan of the black socks or black road cap, the logo doesn't show up super well there. That said, the logo itself and the scripts are fantastic, absolutely beautiful set of logos here. I do think an updated emphasis on red, especially on the road set, would be welcome.

 

San Antonio - Another solid set here, I really like the SA mark. I do feel like there's an opportunity to utilize the fiesta colors more in the branding. The black also feels a little more green than black, like it's not completely on the black-to-white side of a color square. Solid logo here as well, and a good-looking set, but nothing spectacular.

 

Las Vegas - This whole set is 100% the most creative you have here. Love the pink uniforms, they're a nice touch that works really well. My biggest gripe is that yellow isn't used more.

 

Carolina - Yikes. Nothing I can say here but yikes. This is a huge swing and a miss. Let's walk through it: the name was inspired by pissing off a third of the state? Brilliant, that'll draw well. Not to mention that Duke is the name of not one, but two of the most hated things in the state: Duke Energy (the owner of our regional monopoly and all-around terrible company) is not something you want to have even a passing relation to here. I assume because of the crown, name, and mint, the team is in Charlotte. Why not go with Charlotte Knights? You've already used a historic minor league name in Portland, let's use the name of the team that led minor league attendance for five years in a row. Up next is the color scheme: dull and lifeless. Forest green and mint just don't really work here and as many have said brings back bad memories of the Devil Rays' forest green and navy set. Green and gold is better, but my thoughts? Use blue. Use Process blue. That color has become Charlotte's de facto shade of blue and you should take advantage of that. Drop the mint, definitely drop the green, go to a process blue and gold color scheme (athletic or metallic would work well). Finally, there's the logos, which are fine, but nothing special. The best part about the set is 100% the state underline, but that's no good because "Carolina" is no good. (Baseball isn't regional enough as a sport to warrant using the name. It works in football because there's only gonna be one pro football team in a state/region. North Carolina alone has like 10 or so minor league teams, so Carolina vs. Charlotte will have little to no impact on draw. Since that's the case, utilize the brand value of the Knights and capitalize on the Queen City's baseball history.) The cap logo is fine, but the mint outline gets lost and the crown is again, nothing special, although the home plate jewel is a great touch. The scripts are ok, but the vowels (o, e, and u in particular) have some odd widths and I think it drags the scripts down. The C is also oddly thin at the top. Overall the weakest set here, pretty much nothing I'd keep aside from the plate jewel.

 

Nashville - This is an incredible logo! The beveling is really well-done and the whole interlock is just pleasant-looking. I'll echo Generals as the name.

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29 minutes ago, QCS said:

Carolina - Yikes. Nothing I can say here but yikes. This is a huge swing and a miss. Let's walk through it: the name was inspired by pissing off a third of the state? Brilliant, that'll draw well. Not to mention that Duke is the name of not one, but two of the most hated things in the state: Duke Energy (the owner of our regional monopoly and all-around terrible company) is not something you want to have even a passing relation to here. I assume because of the crown, name, and mint, the team is in Charlotte. Why not go with Charlotte Knights? You've already used a historic minor league name in Portland, let's use the name of the team that led minor league attendance for five years in a row. Up next is the color scheme: dull and lifeless. Forest green and mint just don't really work here and as many have said brings back bad memories of the Devil Rays' forest green and navy set. Green and gold is better, but my thoughts? Use blue. Use Process blue. That color has become Charlotte's de facto shade of blue and you should take advantage of that. Drop the mint, definitely drop the green, go to a process blue and gold color scheme (athletic or metallic would work well). Finally, there's the logos, which are fine, but nothing special. The best part about the set is 100% the state underline, but that's no good because "Carolina" is no good. (Baseball isn't regional enough as a sport to warrant using the name. It works in football because there's only gonna be one pro football team in a state/region. North Carolina alone has like 10 or so minor league teams, so Carolina vs. Charlotte will have little to no impact on draw. Since that's the case, utilize the brand value of the Knights and capitalize on the Queen City's baseball history.) The cap logo is fine, but the mint outline gets lost and the crown is again, nothing special, although the home plate jewel is a great touch. The scripts are ok, but the vowels (o, e, and u in particular) have some odd widths and I think it drags the scripts down. The C is also oddly thin at the top. Overall the weakest set here, pretty much nothing I'd keep aside from the plate jewel.

saw you replied to this and knew what was to come, haha.

 

So don't get me wrong, I knew what I was doing the whole time. Like I said, this is for a personal OOTP series and Carolina Dukes made me laugh. This whole thing would replace the existing Minor League teams. Portland got used because the Beavers have been dead for over a decade. If I wanted to use the Knights (or Sounds, Missions, and Aviators) I would have just used those brands. So it was about me having fun with it, rather than saying that a team in Charlotte should actually use the name.


I did pick the colors and tried to work backwards, and yes I think of these 5 Charlotte is the weakest. I used a green similar to the old Charlotte Knights brand mixed with the mint from the new Hornets alt. As I said before, I tried to make brands that I felt fit into MLB. The problem with painting myself into a corner with any sort of regal name is to try and make it different from the Royals(something which would be unavoidable if i used process blue and gold). I'll gladly take another look because you did point out something that I was concerned about, using the NC shape underline for a team called Carolina, and I think I could do better. It's all fair criticism, but I think you were missing the tone I was trying to take.

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3 minutes ago, raysox said:

saw you replied to this and knew what was to come, haha.

 

So don't get me wrong, I knew what I was doing the whole time. Like I said, this is for a personal OOTP series and Carolina Dukes made me laugh. This whole thing would replace the existing Minor League teams. Portland got used because the Beavers have been dead for over a decade. If I wanted to use the Knights (or Sounds, Missions, and Aviators) I would have just used those brands. So it was about me having fun with it, rather than saying that a team in Charlotte should actually use the name.


I did pick the colors and tried to work backwards, and yes I think of these 5 Charlotte is the weakest. I used a green similar to the old Charlotte Knights brand mixed with the mint from the new Hornets alt. As I said before, I tried to make brands that I felt fit into MLB. The problem with painting myself into a corner with any sort of regal name is to try and make it different from the Royals(something which would be unavoidable if i used process blue and gold). I'll gladly take another look because you did point out something that I was concerned about, using the NC shape underline for a team called Carolina, and I think I could do better. It's all fair criticism, but I think you were missing the tone I was trying to take.

I mean I'll agree that it's funny, and I've actually used Charlotte Dukes for my own series before. That said, I just don't think it's a good-looking set, even beyond that. The color scheme is still dull and the whole package is average at best. This isn't a knock on your skill, but I think the idea isn't all that strong. If blue and gold is out, why not purple and gold? Still regal, unique to MLB, and purple is also a color used by Charlotte teams historically.

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14 hours ago, Brian in Boston said:


Go with Nashville Generals. The city was named in honor of Brigadier General Francis Nash of the Continental Army. General - later U.S. President - Andrew Jackson made his home at the Hermitage, located 10 miles east of downtown Nashville. Lieutenant General Frank Maxwell Andrews - one of the founders of the United States Army Air Forces (which would become the United States Air Force), commander of all United States forces in the European Theater of Operations for a period during World War II, and the namesake of Joint Base Andrews (formerly Andrews Air Force Base) - was born and raised in Nashville.

 

Good call.  I thought this was would have been a good name for the Oilers franchise around the time they announced that their place name would be "Tennessee" and not "Nashville": Tennessee Generals.  Had the same idea of multiple generals in the state's history as you (particularly Nash and Jackson), but I also included the idea of the generals involved in the various battles in the state during the Civil War. Of course, there was a civil war Battle of Nashville, and multiple battles in nearby (basically now suburban) Franklin and Murfreesboro, so the Civil War generals reference is still pertinent.

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I know it’s technically not the same, but as for the Generals name, would you want to revive a name used by a now defunct in-state MiLB team from Jackson?

 

Perhaps Fiddlers (country music)? Or Runners (history of moonshine in the state plus obvious baseball reference)?

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As a Tar Heel, I hate the Dukes name, but I love it taking my biased out of it. I'd just think of the mayo before I think of the team that wears the wrong blue. As far as colors go, I was always fond of the Knights dark green and silver (sans blue). 

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Good start to a new series to watch.  I enjoyed your last on as well.  I'm glad you included uniform designs for this one.  

 

Nashville is your best logo so far, with an name to be decided.  I don't dislike the Generals as suggested, but would favor Pioneers as suggested by Itsslothy.

I like the Portland concept but I think some fine tuning of the Beaver image is needed.

I like the overall concept for the Dukes but like the name Charlotte Dukes as it is labeled.

San Antonio Armadillos is a cool name.  I like the Primary logo and the script font.  The uniforms could used something extra as they are a bit bland.

Vegas is good as is.

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Let's try this again. Green and gold, a C logo featuring the original crown in a shield-y shape, with inlines to be  cohesive to the font.

Jerseys-Carolina-Dukes-v2.png

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This is a solid upgrade imo. 

15 minutes ago, raysox said:

Let's try this again. Green and gold, a C logo featuring the original crown in a shield-y shape, with inlines to be  cohesive to the font.

Jerseys-Carolina-Dukes-v2.png

 

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