The Beloit Snappers have gone by their current nickname for a quarter-century, but with an impending move to a new ballpark in 2021, the team is considering an overhaul to their entire brand. The Snappers’ issued a call for ideas on their website and are soliciting input through August 18.
The nickname derives from Beloit’s considerable connections to snapping turtles, which begins with the fact that the nearby Rock River filled with them. The town’s association with turtles goes back possibly as far back as the year 400, when Native Americans built an effigy mound ostensibly shaped like a turtle. Turtle Mound is one of 20 mounds still found on Beloit College’s campus, where there was from 1901 to the mid-1970s a not-so-secret organization called the Turtle Mound Society whose secret members wore secret gold pins so members could recognize each other. (There’s lots more where that came from, detailed in our Story Behind the Nickname article here.)
The team’s logo was designed by Chris Kretz, a graphic designer and cousin to Steve Kretz, who was the team’s general manager when the team switched from the Beloit Brewers to the Beloit Snappers in 1995.
The Snappers identity came into being at the dawn of the wacky logo era, when teams like the Carolina Mudcats, Portland Sea Dogs, and Cedar Rapids Kernels were discovering the potential of fun, unique brands in minor league baseball. The kitschy logo has withstood the test of time, and it would be a shame to see it go away entirely. Of course, we’ll follow this story closely and keep you apprised.