The Mobile BayBears are honoring the past while looking toward the future.
The Double-A Diamondbacks affiliate hosted a press conference at Hank Aaron Stadium on Thursday to announce their new logo, which was designed by San Diego-based Plan B Branding. The press conference was modeled after a traditional fashion show, with models such as BayBears hitting coach Turner Ward, strutting their stuff on the runway amidst billows of fog and pulsating lasers.
First and foremost, the new uniforms are meant to evoke Mobile's rich baseball past. In addition to hosting professional baseball as far back as 1887, the "Azalea City" has produced a remarkable number of Hall of Fame players (Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey, Satchel Paige, Ozzie Smith and Billy Williams).
"We're going back in time and honoring the old Bears uniforms of the 1940s," said BayBears president Bill Shanahan. "Our new cream-colored home uniform is a classic look."
These throwback-style home uniforms feature "BayBears" in light blue script across the chest, with navy blue trim and numbers. On the sleeve is an emblem of a snarling, bat-wielding bear -- a ferocious mammal who also serves as the team's primary hat logo.
"The bear is out of hibernation, hungry and ready to go," said Shanahan. "With our old logo, the bear was a nice, fun, happy bear. But we're going for a more aggressive look now. We're hungry for more championships and eager to expand."
The timing of the unveiling was certainly no coincidence, as the BayBears are readying themselves for a very eventful 2010. On April 14, Opening Day, the club will officially open the Hank Aaron Home and Museum. In an unprecedented effort, the club relocated the legendary slugger's childhood home to stadium grounds. After undergoing extensive renovations and refurbishment, it will now serve as museum and learning center. Accordingly, Thursday's press conference featured the unveiling of new logos for the museum and the stadium as well.
"Today marks the next era in Mobile professional baseball," said Shanahan in a press release. "Our new look is part of our continuing effort to embody the timeless spirit of the Azalea City."
Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MLB.com.