With a history that dates back to 1888, the San Antonio Missions are the oldest franchise in the Texas League. But, as of today, they have the newest logos.
The Missions, Double-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, unveiled their new logos and uniforms on Thursday afternoon during an event staged at the most famous San Antonio mission of them all: The Alamo.
"We just thought that it was time to freshen things up, and come up with a new look," said Missions president Burl Yarbrough. "We changed logos back when we moved into our current home [of Wolff Stadium] in 1994, so it had been 21 years."
"It was important for us to capture the spirit of San Antonio, and make that a big part of our look. Us Texans are very proud of ourselves," he continued. "And probably the part of our history we're most proud of is the Alamo as well as the other missions around town. We're going to continue working around that theme."
The Missions' new crop of logos, designed by Brandiose, reference the city's history in a multitude of ways.
"The 'M' on the road cap, and in the primary logo, features a mission bell ringing," said Yarbrough. "And we took Davy Crockett's coonskin cap and made an 'S' out of that for the road cap. The primary logo shows a baseball shooting across under the 'Missions' name, and this represents cannon fire from the Alamo. These were all elements that we wanted to bring into the fold to tell the story of San Antonio."
Brandiose has been responsible for many rebranding efforts throughout Minor League Baseball in recent years, including the El Paso Chihuahuas and Akron RubberDucks prior to the 2014 season.
"Brandiose, we'd seen the work they've done and were really looking forward to working with them," he continued. "They spent some time around town and conducted some focus groups. We couldn't be happier with the way that they immersed ourselves in our city."
A big part of the Missions story, at least in recent years, has been the popularity of their rather unorthodox Mexican food-themed mascots Henry the Puffy Taco and Ballapeño. The latter is depicted in the new logo set as well. The batting practice cap features a letter "S" in the form of a jalapeño, while an alternate cap depicts a resolute Ballapeño, decked out in a Davy Crockett outfit and swinging a baseball bat.
"He's a big part of our story, and it was important to have him represented," said Yarbrough of the iconic anthropomorphic chili pepper.
Missions players will sport the team's new uniforms for the first time April 9, when the team opens the 2015 campaign with an away game against the Tulsa Drillers.
Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter @bensbiz.