By Phil Hecken
If you’ve been following Uni Watch weekends for the past few months, you are aware that a pretty in-depth contest has been taking place for the “Lewis & Clark” Baseball League.
Each Saturday, we’ve been presenting the several uniform and logo concepts as submitted by Uni Watch readers for a given team in the league. We’ve voted on ten (of the twelve) and we’ve seen each team for which new uniforms & logos will be commissioned. Today, you’re about to see the first portion of the results of those contests.
Evch Sunday, we’ve had news and updates on the design contest being sponsored by Ross Clites. If you missed the introductory post on this, please click here. Last weekend, we introduced Part XII which is the second article here. You can also visit the Lewis & Clark homepage for more information and updates.
Yesterday we revealed the tenth set of concepts for the “Voyagers” (you can still submit for the Rivermen [deadline 5/7] and the Settlers [deadline 5/14]). We’ve now revealed all of the contest entries, and today Ross will present several important updates and bits of other information.
If you missed yesterday’s post, which revealed the readers submissions for the “Voyagers,” you can vote for your favorite concepts (you may vote for up to three). Link here.
I’ll now turn the rest of this post over to Ross, who’ll introduce to you the winners of the first five designs which will be used in the LCBL this year:
Lewis & Clark Baseball League Divisional Unis & Logos
By Ross Clites
The Lewis & Clark Baseball League is proud to release one division of the Lewis (Weekend) Conference and one division of the Clark (Weekday) Conference. The winning looks took a lot of collaboration and there are dozens of individuals who deserve recognition for making this whole thing possible:
Phil Hecken, who took a chance on this crazy concept and ran with it. He put up with an onslaught of proposals directed at his inbox each week. He also showed unbelievable patience and understanding when I was dealing with computer malfunctions and a hectic college baseball season. You would never know any of these issues were going on; his professionalism is shown through the regularity in the posts you saw each week. For that, we are eternally grateful. The LCBL name is now out there in the sports world and we have Uni Watch to thank for giving us center stage. The league looks like it is starting up its 25th season of operations (and not its second) thanks to this experiment.
Steve Rosenbeck & Casey Jones at Garb Athletics. All I can say is wow. How the world hasn’t made you a household name by now is surprising. If any Uni Watcher ever needs a uniform produced, go through Garb. These are some first-rate people running a tight ship. They get you anything you want, exactly how you want it, and the pricing is insane. Throw templates out the window with these guys and never worry about additional embroidery surcharges and all that nonsense. It is coming off as too much of a plug for Garb Athletics, but it is a sincere thank you. Without you, the contest would have been of the theoretical variety: which jersey looks best on the computer screen? With you, we actually get to share the creative ideas, born out of collaboration with Uni Watch contributors, with the players and fans of the league.
Nicholas Mahrt, the commissioner and founder of the Lewis & Clark Baseball League. He gives me tremendous latitude to operate the league and I cannot thank him enough for that. We ran into quite a few obstacles in this arduous process (mainly some last-minute color scheme changes to the Voyagers and Navigators… story to come in next week’s post) but we never panicked. He trusts my design eye and makes life very easy for me. Without him, I am not able to satisfy my childhood dreams — to create baseball teams from scratch and all facets of how they will look on the field. Hopefully I was able to pass on this rewarding feeling to several designers that participated in the weekly contests.
Before I get into specific names I want to say that each person that submitted even one proposal to the LCBL should be very proud of what they turned in. You saw the voting; the competition was fiercer than I ever would have guessed. Each composition was portfolio worthy — something that you should use to fuel your desire to one day have your work adorning an athlete. Never stop coming up with new ways for ballplayers to look the part. I wish I could reward you all, but we must give those who rose above their due.
Those that did not win should consider themselves lucky. Winning a vote meant your work was just beginning. I was a tough critic, as demanding as a graphic design professor, and as callous they come. No “winning” look escaped my redline edits. And whether they liked it or not, I blended two concepts together on several occasions. The result was amazing, though; it truly was a study in sociology. People that never met each other were working back-and-forth like colleagues in a firm. Everyone was so responsive, thankful, and eager to get the product looking its best. This was a treat for me to quarterback, so I hope it is as big of a visual treat for all of Uni Watch Nation.
One person in particular, Mr. Ryan Foose, was a godsend to this project. After week three, I started to feel bad for how many talented designers he was shutting out of stealing a victory. His abilities are so far above what I expected. Spoiler alert: his name will pop up a lot during this little award ceremony. All the winners were excellent, but this contest better be a coming out party for someone in a pro league to sign Ryan.
As a reminder, Ryan and all other winners will receive a jersey (Garb Athletic) and batting practice cap (O.C. Sports) from the team they played a role in designing. Some individuals contributed — in relatively small ways — from outside the top two in each week’s vote, but will still be rewarded as a full-fledged winner. All will be honored guests at Busch Stadium for the 2014 LCBL All-Star Game on July 3rd.
Without further ado, here is your 2014 Missouri Division:
Starting with the reigning champion, Explorers. The primary logo was designed by Bert Ayers while the secondary champions patch was created by Ryan Foose. The jersey is a modified take on Ryan’s scarlet iteration.
Next up we have the Governors. They were a clean sweep by Ryan Foose. The primary logo (bear head) was modified slightly, as is the secondary flag on the bat. In selecting these logos, the Governors joined the Explorers as the only two LCBL teams with three colors. The Explorers inadvertently became scarlet, graphite, and black last season — a manufacturer’s glitch that stuck. This tri-color expansion team will also wear red (cardinal) and two unique shades of its secondary color. The use of royal and navy evokes thoughts of the Buffalo Bills and the hometown St. Louis Blues; a welcomed quirk to the proposal.
Since the league is still color vs. color for all its games (until next year’s introduction of white homes and road greys), some jersey proposals had to schematically invert. For instance, Ryan’s blue-bodied jersey with white sleeves was modified into a cardinal-bodied, navy sleeve model.
Lastly, we come to the Travelers. And look who it is again… Ryan Foose. The box turtle on his way to whoknowswhere is fantastic. Given the constraints of an established wordmark, Ryan took the curving end of the “T” and brilliantly tied the concept altogether. The jersey is the third of his Travelers submissions; green with white/red/white Atlanta Braves piping. As was the case with all winning uniforms, proposed chest logos were swapped out for wordmarks across the front. We need people to know our names first. Designs like that will come as the brand equity is built. I gave it a little Dodgers treatment to play around with it: front number and back number is different colors.
Now we move across the calendar to the weekday-only Clark Conference and its two Meramec Division teams for 2014:
Leading off is the team that began it all twelve weeks ago. Drumroll on the Captain’s winner… yeah, Ryan again. Sorry people, it is too good to overlook. I promise tons of parity in next week’s installment.
When I first saw this concept in the very first week, I knew we were in for a high-quality ride. How this was not already a minor league look is beyond me; it is better than a hundred A-AAA team’s graphics. And how did someone with this gift of a submission fall into our laps — an amateur baseball league’s online contest with no monetary prize? We may never know. But the LCBL does know that this is the best-looking team by far. For it to go first off the tee is all the more remarkable: leader-in-the-clubhouse-turned-champion.
Working back-and-forth with Ryan on the secondary logo proved to me that it would be hard to take my designer hat off and let the kids play (so to speak). Each and every person that submitted something to this contest had to think their work was perfect as is. I could hardly blame someone for getting defensive when I asked for revisions. Ryan and I exchanged countless emails with alpha-dog tones regarding the Captains sleeve patch. “No, I think it should look this way” was a common theme. Somewhere along the line we compromised and gained a mutual respect; one that made the 11 weeks that followed a breeze. I backed off and learned to let the designs be what they were, sort of. My overstepping of the boundaries created the Captains uniform. The other jerseys seemed too weak to represent a strong logo/nickname combo. It was early in the contest and the good uniforms were just heating up.
And the last winner of the day is for the Diplomats. As chronicled in the River Men post, the Diplomats were never supposed to be in this predicament. We were going to kick the can down the road on coming up with their aesthetics and go with the River Men for 2014. Lucky for the league, we had a stellar group of proposals in week number two that has completely bailed us out.
The winning look comes from Bill Smith with his feather and the “D” on the diamond. The secondary logo was a nice collaboration to add more Native American themes. We are pleased to bump this proposal up to the big leagues this year, even if it happened by accident.
The jersey owes its roots to the uniform drawn up by Timothy Fesmire. The patch was flipped for consistency in all-left-sleeve patches. “Headspoon” piping was added and the full wordmark now spans the chest.
That concludes the first installment of winning results. I hope you all enjoyed; sit tight until next time for the rest of the best. Congrats again to Bert, Ryan, Bill, and Tim. We will meet you in St. Louie!
Thanks, Ross! Looking forward to the next installment.
OK readers — I know you’ve seen the concepts before (and hopefully most of you voted on them, which is why you’re seeing the results you’re seeing now). Please give all the concepters a big hand, and congratulate the winners. Let them know how they did in the comments below.
Throwbacks, Spanish Articles, and more Throwbacks
Yesterday afternoon, the Houston Astros (with no advance warning at all), broke out “Los Astros” Latin Heritage jerseys.
Spoke to Paul, who had no idea they were coming, and I am also acquainted with the Astros social media director, who also hadn’t seen those jerseys until yesterday morning. Very strange. Paul commented to me,
It’s really interesting how so many of these things are being done with little or no advance notice. They haven’t even announced what teams will be doing for Memorial Day (which I’m assuming will be some sort of camo nonsense, but they haven’t said anything about it yet). Definitely seems to be a trend toward doing things with very little advance promotion — odd.
You can see more photos from that game here.
Last evening, the Braves and Giants played a throwback game (a “Heritage” game, where both teams wore Negro League uniforms). The Giants wore a 1946 “San Francisco Sea Lions” uniform:
If you look closely, you’ll see what appears to be a bear cub on the uniform. And it is — why did the “Sea Lions” have a bear cub on their uniform? Apparently they only played in the 1946 season, and the uniforms were actually hand-me-downs from another team. Quoting from this article, “Research revealed that the Sea Lions purchased uniforms previously worn by the San Francisco Cubs, another semipro Negro League team. Thus, to preserve the integrity of history, the Giants designed their replica jerseys in similar fashion.”
The Braves played as the Atlanta Black Crackers, a team whose uniform they have thrown back to before.
For some reason, photos were very hard to come by as I was prepping this piece, so to see more, I have a small flickr album (screen grabs in there courtesy of Ryan Deitchler) or go here . There was also a fairly comical moment at the beginning of the game where Cy Lincecum brought out the lineup card in what could only be described as “period” dress.
Finally, tonight, the Cubs, who are doing that whole 100th Anniversary of Wrigley celebration, will be playing the Cardinals (game on is ESPN). Both teams will be throwing back to the year 1929.
1929 was a pretty good year for the Cubs, who made it to the World Series, losing to the Philadelphia A’s. If you look at the image above, the Cubs jersey is what they’ll be wearing tonight. The Cards graphic is (supposedly) an original uniform from the 1929 season (red pinstripes!). Hopefully, Majestic will be able to fairly accurately recreate that — if they do, it should be a great looking game.
The Cubs really did a nice job with their 1914 throwback game, so I’m hoping they will continue with the greatness tonight.
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
First up today is B. Campbell, who went a bit over the word limit, but I’ll let it slide. He’s got a bunch of concepts for some Texas football:
I wanted to send you a few of my concepts to get your opinion. I’ve just started my own website dedicated to my concepts at www.fridaynightdesign.com but as a beginner, it would be great to hear from somebody with Uni-Watch.
Concept #1: Texas Longhorns Imperial Edition
One of the more famous nicknames for the University of Texas Uniforms is the nickname given to their current away uniforms, “The Stormtroopers”. It’s with that thought in mind that I’ve designed my second set of Texas Alternates. Due to the clear Star Wars connection that has already been made with the Longhorns, I’ve named this set the “Imperial Edition”. The Home Uniform is blacked out, inspired by famous Star Wars Villain Darth Vader. The Helmet is Black with a Black Facemask and a Burnt Orange Decal. The jersey is Black with Orange Numbers and Stripes. A Longhorn Logo sits calm yet menacingly on the Collar above the Texas name. The sleeves share the same “Texas Fight” motto as my ‘Texas Grays’ design, only this time in Burnt Orange and Black. The socks are Black with two Burnt Orange stripes wrapping around each sock. The gloves and cleats are both Black and Burnt Orange. Meanwhile, I’ve provided my updated Stormtroopers design for the Away Uniforms. The Away Helmet is White with a White Facemask and a Burnt Orange Decal. The Away Uniform is very similar to the Home Vader Uniform, outside of the fact that it’s white. The sleeves are Burnt Orange with a white ‘Texas Fight’ motto. As for the rest of the Uniform, you’ll find white pants, white cleats with Burnt Orange tips and Burnt Orange and White gloves
Concept #2: Texas Longhorn Grays
This link is for Uniforms being nicknamed the “Texas Grays”. Gray is quickly becoming a favorite of Uniform Designers due to the way it lends itself to various other color patterns. It’s long been a favorite of mine and I’ve always wondered how well it would mix with the Longhorn’s Burnt Orange. Thus, this design features a lot of gray. I chose a mixture of Battleship Gray and Gun Metal Gray for these Uniforms. The Helmets for both the home and away are Burnt Orange with a Burnt Orange Facemask and a White Longhorn Decal. The Home Jersey is Gray with Burnt Orange Numbers and Burnt Orange Shoulders. Both the shoulders and numbers are outlined with white piping. The pants are the same shade of Gray as the Jersey and share the same White Longhorn Decal that can be seen on the Jersey’s Collar. The Away Uniform is similar to it’s Home Counterpart, except for white gray numbers. Both the Home and Away Uniform have Black and Burnt Orange Cleats/Gloves and Burnt Orange Sleeves with the Motto “Texas Fight!” written across them.
Concept #3: Dallas Wranglers (A11FL)
And lastly, I’ve attached my concept for one of the teams in the new start-up A11 Football League. I’ve designed a set of Uniforms for the Dallas Wranglers, who I suppose will be my hometown team.
The Home Uniform features the Green Helmet provided on the A11FL Website. I used that design to further construct a green out home set. The jersey is dark prairie green with white shoulders and a bronze collar. The shoulders are outlined with bronze piping while the collar is outlined with white piping. The Official A11FL Logo is placed on the collar in the team’s colors. I wanted the Uniform to have a western feel, thus I used a compilation of Vanilla One and Copperplate Bold fonts for number and name identification. The Home Uniform has the Mascot Name placed above a bronze plated number. The player number is also duplicated on each shoulder for easier ESPN identification. The sleeves feature a western lasso pattern to fit the “Wrangler” theme. The pants are also dark prairie green with the A11FL Logo placed to the right of the lasso themed belt. The socks are bronze and the cleats are black and dark prairie green. The Away Uniform also features the Green Helmet provided on the A11FL Website. The jersey is white with bronze shoulders and a dark prairie green collar. The shoulders are outlined with dark prairie green piping while the collar is outlined with bronze piping. The Official A11FL Logo is placed on the collar in the team’s colors. I wanted the Uniform to have a western feel, thus I used a compilation of Vanilla One and Copperplate Bold fonts for number and name identification. The Away Uniform has the City Name placed above a dark prairie green number with bronze piping. This idea is popular in baseball, uniforms at home have the mascot name whereas away uniforms have the city name. It helps newcomers to the sport identify with each team playing. The player number is also duplicated on each shoulder (TV Numbers) for easier ESPN identification. The sleeves feature a western lasso pattern to fit the “Wrangler” theme. The pants are dark prairie green with the A11FL Logo placed to the right of the lasso themed belt. The socks are bronze and the cleats are black and dark prairie green.
Next up is Mark Kiehn with a “better” look for the Buccaneers:
As a long time Buccaneers fan, I was disappointed with the re-brand to
say the least. Here is my version for a Buccaneers ‘re-boot,’
featuring a new, modernized Bucco Bruce (which I designed and own the
copyright), and a nice mix of old and new colors. I think it works! I
also used my same pant design that I shared on your website a few
years back using a similar template. I hope your readers enjoy!
And we close today with Micah Fries who has a new look for Sporting KC:
I’m a big fan of Sporting KC. I love their new secondary kit, and I think our third kit, the argyle kit, is unique, but we’ve not been very successful in it. When they first came out with it, I was surprised they went with argyle, instead of the checkerboard effect which is used by the Sporting supporters. So, I thought now would be a good time to see what I could come up with using the checkerboard look. I found a Gareth Bale template online and had some fun. Obviously Bale isn’t going to play for Sporting anytime soon, but he makes for a good template.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Very small amount of ticker submissions yesterday, so we’ll go back to the old-style for today.
Paul’s recent request for readers to send in photos of their team/logo tattoos prompted Tim Farley to send in this nearly a year-and-a-half old artcle, that nevertheless has interesting soccer team tat images from the Seattle area. … Alan Filipczak wrote a fanpost for BrewHoop (the Bucks’ SB Nation blog) a week ago regarding the Bucks’ uniforms, and comments have accumulated in the time since. … Tennessee baseball wore these throwbacks yesterday. … Some nice stirrups on Wichita State yesterday (thanks to “Philly Madison”). … Paul (and I) have linked to Winsipedia before, but Andrew Rader though another shout out couldn’t hurt. … Here’s a few AFL items from Leo Strawn, Jr.: Updating the AFL colour-on-colour matches since round 2 (last ones I submitted). Rd 3: Crows v Swans. Rd 5: Swans v Dockers and Demons v Suns. Rd 6: Demons v Swans. In round 7 (this weekend), Carlton Blues wore throwbacks with an older version of their monogram. … Oops. Before showing highlights of Barcelona-Getafe match, ESPN aired the logos of Barcelona and the…Anaheim Ducks? (great grab by Joshua Buksbaum). … Idaho State softball is the latest adidas team to be given the tequila sunrise jersey treatment (thanks to Frank Mercogliano). … Here’s a look at the 1964 Phillies throwback uniform to be worn on Retro Night (Friday, June 13th). … Looks like Yasmani Grandal is wearing a Captain America undershirt (via Matt Williams. … This weekend, Ole Miss has gone camo hats/helmets for Military Appreciation Weekend (h/t Wes Sparkmon).
And that’s going to do it for today. Everyone have a great Sunday and I’ll catch you next weekend. Thanks to Ross, all the participants in the LCBL contests, and the concepters of the tweaks as well. Have a great week.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Maybe the Astros should have reverted to their original nickname for this bit of chicanery and called themselves ‘Potro .45s.’ Yeah, the old Potros, with Jose Morgan and ‘Oxidado’ Staub.”
— Buck Fontana