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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Wheeling Nailers

Toledo Walleyes

All ECHL matches have the mandatory fight, but this one seemed a little more real than most.

Wheeling Nailers

1) That's the last time I trust my weather app. The drive across West Virginia when it wasn't supposed to be snowing turned into death drive 2017. Then the same thing happened when I got into my car to drive the ten minutes to the rink and ended up driving geared down in near whiteout conditions for about half a thirty-plus minute drive. Oh, and the temperature at time of puck drop was 11 degrees Fahrenheit, -8 wind chill.

2) For a day in which only insane people were going out to a hockey match, there was a good sized crowd out at the rink.

3) The Toledo Walleyes scored almost immediately and put three pucks in the goal in the first period. The Wheeling Nailers struck back in the second period scoring three of their own before the Walleyes put two in in the last minute or so of the second. The third was hard fought and the Nailers got one back and had the Walleyes' goal under siege when time ran out.

4) Overall, although the drive sucked the hockey was a lot of fun. Now, on to Columbus.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Off Season Happenings (Baseball)

While most  of the minor leagues pushed out their schedule for 2018 extremely early this year, changes in logos and names are happening later. The only new logo that came early was the American Association' Chicago Dogs in unaffiliated ball.

It's an interesting logo for a brand spanking new team. It has ties to a popular item in popular culture (a Chicago hotdog), although I think the color scheme is a bit on the weak side. I'll be interested to see how this one weathers the ravages of time. Blue and red are already claimed colors in Chicago. If this team survives and thrives it might want to change those some day to differentiate itself (or  avoid a lawsuit).

However affiliated minor leagues didn't go through the usual spate of changes we see during November. Instead, we have now been hit with three new changes in earlyish mid-December. It's an interesting time to do this because it misses the early Christmas shopping period for anyone buying for a minor league fan.

The re-imagining of the Augusta Greenjackets' logo as they move to a new State is a mixed bag::
click to enlarge

Both the "A" logo and the name logo are impressive. The color scheme is strong. The wasp logo would be strong too except for that thing on its head. I spent a while trying to figure out what that was and my best guest \was some sort of crown. When I finally bowed to the inevitable and looked it up, it turns out to be a golfing cap. Without the cap failure this would have been close to perfect.

The re-imagining of the logo for the Hudson Valley Renegades is more even:
click to enlarge
All of those are solid logos, although none is too strong. They seem to have dropped red from their color scheme a while back and taken the Rays colors which leaves a rather bland palate for their logo. If I remember right the logo being replaced was a raccoon tail with the name and raccoon eyes over the top. It was a decent logo but these are tighter and will probably look better on a uniform. I'm not sure what I think about the smirking raccoon. I think that is a throwback to an older logo where the raccoon was smiling. The smirk isn't a smile though and seems a little off putting.

Finally, there is the Gwinnett Stirpers:
click to enlarge

As everyone can recall, I previously recommended that Gwinnett change its name and logo. Neither of my suggestions were accepted (Goshawks or Gesundheits), but the team in Gwinnett did take my general advice and change its name and logo. I'm not sure what tortured reason the ad company which sold Gwinnett on "Stripers" used. However, it hooked the team andd now we have the Gwinnett Stripers.

All the logos are well drawn and the name logo as well as the one with the tail and ball are good (and somebody needs to show Pensacola that a good logo with a fish can be done). The use of the hook with a baseball on it is a flaw in the ones in which it appears and the hook with the cartoon worm is poor. The G in the shape of a home plate around the fish is clever. I may have to buy a hat.

And that's all we've got so far. There will be more to come. At the very least the rookie league team in Greeneville, Tennessee will have to rebrand some day as it moves from being an Astros affiliate to the Reds.