R-Phils All Over the Place with new name, logos, uniforms

Written By:  •  Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Reading Phillies, Double-A Eastern League affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, unveiled their new name, logo, and uniforms at a fan event today at First Energy Stadium in Reading, Pa ending 46 seasons being known as the Phillies.

Just a heads up that this identity is all over the place, in fact the club now sports the most uniform options throughout all of professional baseball.  So, I hope you’re strapped in and ready for this ride.

As SportsLogos.Net called it back two weeks ago the team will be called the Reading Fightin Phils, a play off of the nickname the press and fans used for the Philadelphia Phillies “Whiz Kids” teams of the 1950s, and while the new team uniforms further make the connection to those ’50s Phillies, the logo and everything else does anything but… If you are a fan of the Reading Phillies, the logo makes a lot more sense to you than it would to anyone else on the planet:

The logo says Fightins, but is classified as the primary Fightin Phils logo

Yes, that’s an ostrich.  No it has nothing to do with Philadelphians who fight… unless they’re suggesting they “ostrich” when challenged…

Nah, see the Reading Phillies have a mascot, “The Crazy Hot Dog Vendor”.  Basically the character is a hot dog vendor who’s crazy and rides a fake ostrich around the stadium while tossing frankfurters to anyone with a sawbuck.

The Crazy Hot Dog Vendor

The Crazy Hot Dog Vendor on his ostrich (Photo courtesy flickr R-Phils2012)

With that in mind, the following alternate logo should (repeat SHOULD) make a little more sense when you see it:

Reading Fightin Phils Baseballtown Hot Dog Patch

The Bunbino squirts a mustard circle behind him

That’d be Bunbino, the hot dog that goes along with the ostrich… man are they really playing up this hot dog guy.  It’s like when they used to show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” once every three months, everyone watched it! When it switched to four times a day, well, we all got sick of it.  I can’t imagine people won’t get sick of the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor now that he’s shoved in everyones faces at all times.

On to the uniforms…

First off the uniforms do incorporate something we haven’t seen before, faux-flannel pattern thanks to Wilson Sporting Goods, much like the Washington Redskins faux-leather pattern football helmet earlier this year.  This could really help the appearance of throwback uniforms around the baseball world.

Fightin Phils 2013 Home Uniform (photo courtesy @SportsTalkPhila)

The home uniform is based off of that of the Major League Phillies, white with red pinstripes, “Fightin Phils” across the front in red and a blue cap. From the Fightin Phils site: “With the help of historians, the Fightin Phils will wear a faux-flannel uniform with pinstripes that recreate those worn by Richie Ashburn et al. The Fightin Phils will wear either the navy cap with the feathered “R” logo hat or the navy ostrich hat.

Speaking of caps the club has SEVEN of them, your standard home and road plus FOUR alternates and a B.P… Hey, ‘member when the Blue Jays only unveiled one cap with their new uniforms last year? We really didn’t appreciate how refreshing that was at the time.

The seven different Fightin Phils caps for 2013 (courtesy fightinphils.com)

On the road, it’s a grey jersey also made with the “faux-flannel” material seen on the home (but much more visible on the road edition).  As if we needed anything else unique with this set, the road uniform has absolutely nothing to do with the primary branding of the club.

The road “iris blue” cap features that Bunbino the Hot Dog logo mentioned earlier, while across the front of the jersey it reads “Baseballtown” (not “Reading” or “Phils”) in yellow and blue with a Phillies logo on one sleeve and the Bunbino circle logo on the other.

Fightin Phils “Baseballtown” Road uniform (courtesy @SportsTalkPhila)

Player numbers are on the back in yellow mustard-squirt font.

“Our analysis showed us that Baseballtown resonated across all metrics… our fans love Baseballtown and what it represents from a historic standpoint. Fans in visiting cities are fascinated by the Baseballtown identity and how it spoke to the baseball history of the entire region.”  - Fightin Phils GM Scott Hunsicker to milb.com

There are two alternate uniforms with this set, one meant for at home and the other for on the road – which makes sense as this team seems to have a separate identity on the road as it does at home.

Home alternate uniform (@SportsTalkPhila)

Home alternate is navy blue, white side “BP style” panels with “Fightins” across the front in white, fighting ostrich logo on one sleeve and Phillies logo on the other.

Road alternate “Baseballtown” uniform (@SportsTalkPhila)

Road alternate is black with “Baseballtown” script in yellow and iris blue side panels.

The new logo set was developed by Brandiose who were also responsible for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders logo unveiled earlier this week and previously for such classics as the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

Two of the cap logos used by the club, home on the left and “alternate 2″ on the right

My thoughts? Well, this is a guy here who loves minor league characters like Mr. Celery and the Hillsboro Hop, so the ostrich and the Bunbino fits right in with that group of fantastic mascot logos.  Let me make this clear, I love the logos in this set, Brandiose always hits a home run.  But…

What I’m lost on is the name, and the connection to the rest of the brand not to mention the overuse of the “Baseballtown” identity.  Sure, you can play up “Baseballtown”, why not, afterall, the Detroit Red Wings love their “Hockeytown USA” branding, but on two separate road uniforms?  And without giving a non-”Baseballtown” alternative for road games? How about a road uniform that says “Reading” across the front? How about representing your city, not the (likely fictional) idea of your city.

The team doesn’t have an identity with this set, unless their identity is that they have so many identities.  I mean c’mon… Are they the ostriches?  Are they the hot dogs?  Are they Baseballtown?  Are they the Fightins?  Are they the Fightin Phils?

All I know is I’m exhausted just trying to make sense of it all.

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Chris Creamer

Chris Creamer is the founder of SportsLogos.Net and has been maintaining it since June 1997. You can follow him on Twitter at @sportslogosnet or contact him via email at ccreamer@sportslogos.net

  • Thomas

    Dang!
    Too much logo-mation!

  • Ryan

    Holy fuster cluck…

  • Sean Maguire

    Hate it. Hate everything about it.

  • Ryan F

    Too much of the hot dog vendor by far…The road jerseys are absolutely ridiculous. I can’t believe a team having away jerseys that don’t clearly state the team name, city, or even the franchise colors. Way to rep your town/organization on the road…

  • Brent Stewart

    ….kinda gimmicky

  • Brian Castner

    Well it certainly is different. I can take or leave the “new” Fightin Phils name and the ostrich but the hot dog and “Baseballtown” is stupid. One positive that can be taken to Philly is the home uniform has a logo on the shoulder instead of the numbers and the numbers in the proper spot on the front of the uniform. But what’s the over/under on how many game it takes before you see 2 or 3 different home hats being worn in the field in a game by mistake?

  • Marcus LaCross

    what in the hell?

  • Brian Merzbach

    Good analysis – couldn’t agree more. Brandiose has gone overboard with their ridiculous logos. All the logos/unis for a team should a common theme. But apparently that is lost on Brandiose.

  • Dan Becker

    To those who like the new Reading Phillies logo, ARE YOU F*CKING SERIOUS?!?! The new name, logo, uniforms are horrible!!!

  • Chris McCabe

    They came so close in getting it right or at least close enough where people would accept it. The script is not bad, the name, even the jersey that looks like flannel, but they lost it all when the added the ostrich.

  • Ben Hesse

    7 hats? Good lord…

  • Matthew Scott

    Nice article, Chris, and thanks for the info. My wondering is if they used fan opinion on any of this? Even though the colors here are more palatable, it reminds me of the shock value from the Miami Marlins this past year.

  • Braden Leibovitch

    Isn’t a uniform set supposed to be, you know, uniform?

  • kurt

    not feeling the alternate hotdog stuff so much. i like the ostrich logos. weird mascot, but still not as weird and inexplicable as the wilmington blue rocks celery.

  • John Aiken

    Is that a Eatern or Western Pennslyvania Ostrich?? Not to mention the Baseballtown one looks something like the new oskosh begosh shirts you put on little kids. Nostalgia is one thing but your mascot is a vendor??

  • Alex Romanelli

    Omg that’s awesome lmao

  • Troy Griggsby

    I can appreciate the quirkiness of MiLB, but this is way too much. Very disappointing.

  • Travis Gagnon

    I think they should’ve stuck with the Reading Phillies

  • Matt

    I’m absolutely fine with the ostrich and the home caps are pretty awesome, but all hot-dog themed jerseys, logos, hats, etc. are absolutely hideous. They should not be allowed to wear a jersey that nowhere identifies their city or team nickname. A sad attempt to try to go over the top and be fun – the hot dog concept is just plain stupid. Other than that, I love this.

  • Greg Hill

    What were they thinking – “we love all of your concepts … so we’re using them all” #fail

  • Tony O’Neill

    Yeah, the ostritch and the hot dog are just plain bad

  • Aaron

    Kind of glad they didn’t steer away from the Phillies name completely. Home jerseys and cap excellent. Road jerseys should say Reading. Use the baseball town jersey as a very occasional jersey.

  • lhsnfn

    Why??????????????????????????????????

  • Ben Foster

    Popeye the Sailor?

  • Atomic Fury

    Man…..what an atrocity. If I were a Reading Phillies fan that would be how I’d refer to myself – as in “I was a Reading Phillies fan”. That is absolutely the most asinine branding of any team…..anywhere. The owner must be on hallucinogenic drugs. If there’s anything right with the Universe, they’d deep-six this shameful display of unneccessary change and restore a proud franchise to its original branding.

  • madpanda

    Does the “Crazy Hot Dog Vendor” own part of the team or something? There’s no excuse for this excessive amount of overhyping! Could you imagine the San Diego Padres of the ’70s overdosing on The Chicken? On the other hand, the ostrich idea is awesome–in fact, if they really were so into the vendor, just go with the ostrich. There’s so much awesome in that set (love the F-fist!) that it doesn’t need that whole “Bunbino” crap.

    MadPanda…(“Baseballtown”? Really? They do know where the Baseball Hall of Fame is, right?)…

  • Jeffrey Turner

    Whatever happened to “less is more”?

  • dex1lsp

    Are you kidding me? This is all so terrible. Wow, unbelievable.

  • Bryan

    I don’t mind the name Fightin Phils but having an ostrich and a hot dog as logos is just a plain slap in the face of Reading Phillies fans. The road jerseys have nothing to do with the Phils at all and shouldn’t be allowed to be worn. If they wanted to use those logos then why not name them the Fightin Hot Dog and Ostriches. Its just a disgrace for the people of Reading and remember the old saying “If it isn’t broken don’t fix it”

  • Justin

    Only thing I like about these is the faux-flannel look. Everything else… just wow… smh

  • Storm

    What a hot mess! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    • Aaron

      Try telling that to most teams who have changed their identity…

      Like the Marlins. Miami Marlins makes sense, but not their radical colour scheme.

  • Malcolm

    Reaction from Reading and Phillies fans is pretty strong across-the-board negative. The club wanted to modernize, to fit better with young audiences, but this is completely misguided. The R-Phils never needed gimmicky outfits and names to sell tickets; in fact, the R-Phils traditionally have the highest average attendance of any Eastern League club.

    This is plain sad. If the club wanted to update jerseys using that new font, but keeping the name, that would’ve been fine, and in fact, kind of cool. But everything else about this screams desperation for no reason.

    I, for one, will continue to call them the Reading Phillies.

  • Johny

    This is a JOKE right???

  • ingmar66

    They should have stuck with the Phillies name and add the Ostrich (which I like). Maybe add the navy feathered R cap as a road cap. The Bunbino thing and uniforms are the main flaw: so corporate and gimmicky and no relation to Reading or the Phillies at all. What a disgrace. I bet this whole thing will be changed after a couple of seasons because of a huge loss in merchandise sales with over-10-year-old fans.

  • Max

    these are wild! love it!

  • Dave

    Eeek! It’s an ADDentity! Holy mother of…. I put a long post in about the new Eugene Emeralds logo and said I usually like Brandiose’s work, but oy, this is even worse! Are they the Phils, Fightins, Fightin’ Phils, Bunbinos? Where are they from again? Baseballtown? Hm, must be a travel team or something.

    I like the lettering of the Fightin’ Phils and the fist through the letter and the flannel effect. After that, shivers. Well, it’s too much to try to make sense of, but my first thought was “Why is the bird’s right hand (if an ostrich can have a hand) on backwards or missing a thumb?” Is the ostrich pissed because someone was plucking the feathers off its legs? Why include THAT detail?

    Don’t get me started with how this team is going to be heckled on the road when they wear the hot dog unis.

    smh

  • Discrim

    You know when you’ve seen something that makes you think the idea was good, but the execution was garbage? Yeh, this is basically the opposite of that: top notch execution, really questionable idea on the whole.