The Asheville Tourists have won Minor League Baseball's moon race.
The Colorado Rockies' Class A affiliate unveiled their new identity at the local Hickory Tavern on Tuesday afternoon, introducing a series of logos that strongly incorporate Earth's only natural satellite.
"We had the desire to change and wanted something fun and exciting that told the history of baseball in Asheville," said Tourists president Brian DeWine. "The original [professional] team in Asheville was called the Moonshiners, and that got us thinking about the moon and how many people have watched Tourists baseball under the moon through the years.
"The feeling at [McCormick Field] is like camping, in that there are trees and mountains in the background," he continued. "It can create the same feeling you have camping with your dad, looking up at the sky and seeing the moon. Plus, we always joke that the moon is the ultimate Tourist destination."
The team's primary logo is of a home run ball soaring over the moon and toward the Blue Ridge mountains, while the home plate-shaped McCormick Field logo includes the moon shining above the iconic 86-year-old facility. But the celestial body really comes alive on the navy blue glow-in-the-dark home cap, which features a shades-wearing character who goes by the self-explanatory name of "Mr. Moon."
"[Mr. Moon] is fun and exciting, and in his sunglasses you can see a reflection of our ballfield," said DeWine.
Like a day game or a Who reunion show, the road cap is moon-free. Instead, a white capital "A" rests atop a light blue background. But the batting practice cap features Mr. Moon swinging a hobo's bindle, and an alternate logo depicts Mr. Moon chomping into a super-sized portion of what must be free-floating space ribs.
"We wanted to show everyone that Mr. Moon is a true fan of North Carolina barbeque," explained DeWine.
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The logos were designed by Plan B Branding, a San Diego-based "creative ideas company" that, in recent years, has become a leader in the field of Minor League logo development.
"[Plan B's Jason Klein and Casey White] came down here in early June, and we put them on the trolley ride around town, took them to the tourist shops -- no pun intended -- and had them sit in on some focus groups," said DeWine. "Then they went back home and started sending us sketches. We love the work and are really excited about it."
And it is DeWine's hope that it won't just be Asheville residents who are excited about the changes.
"We'd love for this to generate interest across the country," he said. "It would be great to go on vacation and see someone wearing a Tourists cap. ... Maybe some day we'll even see one in space."
More North Carolina logo news: The Tourists weren't the only team from the Tar Heel State to unveil a new identity this afternoon. The Carolina League's Kinston Indians revealed their first logo and uniform change since 1995.
According to the press release "The K-Tribes' new logo features the wording 'Kinston Indians' over an updated bat and feather design."
"The new, fresh look updates the classic K-Tribe style that our fans love," said Assistant General Manager Janell Bullock. "We blended together current favorites and updated some great designs we already had. New look, same tradition!"