There was a time when most ballplayers had regular joe jobs in the offseason. Some guys sold cars. Others sold real estate. Richie Hebner dug graves for cryin’ out loud. That practice is long gone now that even league minimum salaries are more than enough to live on through the winter, but somebody forgot to tell that to Pirates’ pitcher Ross Ohlendorf:
An e-mail requesting an internship arrived at the Agriculture
Department this summer with an impressive resume: Princeton University
degree in operations research and financial engineering, 3.8 college
GPA, 1520 SATs. Ross Ohlendorf didn’t mention his 95 mph sinking
fastball, but it probably wouldn’t have hurt his chances. Department
officials were impressed that the Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher wanted to
work for them in the offseason . . .
. . . Ohlendorf, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 240 pounds, shares
a small office with another USDA employee. His work is mainly focused
on animal identification — the nationwide tracking system intended to
pinpoint an animal’s location after a disease is discovered.”I’ve
really enjoyed it,” he said. “In addition to learning a lot of things
and meeting a lot of neat people, I’ve gotten to do some cool events
Ohlendorf actually had a decent enough season for the Pirates this year, so he probably won’t need to think about getting a real job for a while. But maybe teammates Matt Capps and Brandon Moss should take note and start sharpening their resumes a little.
Everyone talks about getting rid of Chief Wahoo but nobody does anything about it.
Well, that’s not totally true. As we’ve noted, Major League Baseball and the Indians are slowly doing something about it. But the thing they’re doing — a slow phase-out of Wahoo, hopefully in a manner no one really notices — is likely going to anger just as many as it pleases. Such is the nature of a compromise. Such is the nature of trying to do the right thing but being afraid to state the reason why they’re doing it.
A bold move would be a lot more interesting. Not just getting rid of the logo, but totally rebranding the Indians in a cool and exciting way that would inspire people to buy in to the new team identity as opposed to merely lament or accept the abandonment of the old one. To that end, a man named Nick Kendall came up with a super fun and super great-looking redesign and rebranding of the Indians over the weekend.
Kendall, who is not really a big baseball fan but who has spent a lot of time thinking about uniforms and design, went back to 1871 and Cleveland’s first professional baseball team, the Forest Citys (yes, that’s how it was spelled). He took their logo — an interlocked F and C — and built an entire set of uniforms out of it and some aesthetic choices of his own. The new color scheme is a dark green and white. He even includes two alternate, solid-jersey designs. All of it is done in a great looking mockup. Really, go check it out and tell me that’s not cool.
I like it for a couple of reasons. Mostly because the uniforms just look fantastic. I love the design and would love to see a team with that kind of look in the game. We have too many reds and blues. Green is woefully underused in Major League Baseball and it’d be good to see some more green around.
Also, as Kendall notes, and as soccer shows us, the “[city] [mascot]” name construction isn’t the only way to approach team names, and so the name — Forest Citys, or some derivation of it — would be unique in baseball. Maybe it’s be “The Cleveland Forest Citys/Cities.” Maybe “Forest City B.C.” would be a way to go? Maybe, as so often happened with baseball teams in the past — the Indians included — the nickname could develop over time. It’s certainly preferable to the option a lot of people point to — The Cleveland Spiders — which (a) evokes the worst baseball team in history’ and (b) sounds like something a 1990s NBA marketing team would come up with.
If the Indians are going to get rid of Chief Wahoo — and they are — why not do something fun and new and exciting?