Patrick Finley: Tucson's AAA team will have modern look

2011-01-15T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T16:20:47Z Patrick Finley: Tucson's AAA team will have modern lookPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 15, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Before the Tucson Padres can get your approval, they need it from Minor League Baseball.

The Triple-A team begins play in 92 days, but doesn't have a logo to put on pocket schedules or T-shirts yet.

It's been designed by the San Diego Padres art department, but still needs to be OK'd by minor-league overseers.

Because the logo isn't official yet, the team's website is dark.

Until approval comes, likely next week, Padres general manager Mike Feder will continue running the team's Facebook page, which has more than 500 fans so far.

Feder's not complaining.

Ninety-two days ago, who would have thought Tucson would have another crack at baseball?

"We got something back for once in this town," he said. "At what point do we get tired of losing things?

"The momentum has changed."

Maintaining it, Feder has moved into the Arizona Diamondbacks' old offices, from which he will sell season-ticket and weekend packages starting Monday.

Sedona red is out.

Padres navy is in.

Feder revealed to me that the Triple-A team will wear Padres colors - white, navy and gray, which is replacing the parent club's khaki accents.

The team logo will be the San Diego Padres' late-1970s rounded, lower-case font with a desert mountain scene behind it.

It's Dave Winfield meets Lute Olson.

"Nostalgic," Feder said, "but still modern."

The cap has yet to be approved by Minor League Baseball, but should be by the end of the month.

The scheme seems to fit Tucson, Feder said.

Running a name-the-team contest and paying an outside firm to design new logos would have spent precious time and money.

Feder said he never doubted using the Padres' name and colors. San Diego and Tucson boast missions with actual padres.

"I thought it was so important to show a major-league association, especially because 'Padres' is meaningful in Tucson," he said. "Padres fans here travel to San Diego in the summer. It's real."

Rebranding a team with our name for only two or three years - presuming Escondido, Calif., stadium construction goes smoothly - was tricky.

Paul Lukas, who runs the dorky-awesome UniWatchBlog and writes for ESPN, struggled to think of a similar situation. He settled on the Olympics, which pop up every four years but last about a month.

"It's always a challenge to come up with a look people can bond with over a short period of time," he said, "without making it so flashy as to where it looks ridiculous."

The Padres' most unusual attribute will trickle down to Triple-A. They bequeathed the Tucson team last year's set of camouflage jerseys.

Feder's club will wear them regularly to honor Tucson's military presence.

The hand-me-downs should not be treated as such.

In their final years, the Sidewinders were lame ducks. The spring training clubs were interlopers.

The Padres might not be here long, but they're our last, best chance as a baseball market.

Hurry up with that logo.

Contact Patrick Finley at 573-4145 or pfinley@azstarnet.com

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