1993 logo poster

Left to right – Top row: Buffalo Bisons, Vero Beach Dodgers. 2nd row: Syracuse Chiefs, Savannah Cardinals, Albuquerque Dukes, High Desert Mavericks, Chattanooga Lookouts, Portland Beavers. 3rd row: Capital City Bombers, Madison Muskies, Norfolk Tides, Palm Springs Angels, Durham Bulls, Charlotte Knights. Bottom row: Carolina Mudcats, Helena Brewers, Albany Polecats, Ottawa Lynx, Billings Mustangs, Columbus Clippers.

This cap poster from 1993 is a true beauty. I scored it on eBay and it arrived in excellent condition. It is printed on thin card stock with a smooth finish. I have it hanging in a difficult-to-photograph spot in the MLG office, so the best photos come out crooked and with muted coloring. In person, the background is perfectly white and the colors are very vibrant. This is a two-sided poster, with the exact same printing on the reverse. I imagine that it was designed to be a window poster for hobby shops or sporting goods stores. Without a third party brand on the poster, I assume it was produced by MiLB itself.

The poster measures 22″ wide by 16″ tall, and features 20 logos from MiLB teams that were active in the 1993 season, as well as the MiLB logo. The logos are a mixed bag of team stretching from Triple-A all the way to Rookie level. Each logo measures approximately 2.5″ x 2.5″, with some variation here and there. The logos are arranged in neat rows.

I determined that it was produced in 1993 in a fun process of detection. Simply put, the Palm Springs Angels and that version of the Portland Beavers operated up until 1993, and the Ottawa Lynx, Norfolk Tides, and Capital City Bombers were new identities that same year.

There are a lot of highlights to this poster, but what strikes me most is that there is no clear rhyme or reason for the teams selected. The Bisons, Dukes, Lookouts, Beavers, Bulls, Knights, Mudcats, and Clippers all make sense due to either large market or popular brand at the time. I suppose you could roll the Chiefs and Tides in there too, as they are Triple-A teams in decent-sized markets. The Muskies and Polecats get a pass for anthropomorphic whimsy–these are the sort of teams avidly sought after by memorabilia collectors today. The Bombers and Lynx (and Tides, again) have that brand-new identity smell, so they are accounted for. Though it seems a little silly in retrospect, I guess you could throw the Mavericks into that last category as well, since they were still in the vital throes of their honeymoon phase.

The real mysteries here are the Savannah Cardinals, Vero Beach Dodgers, Palm Springs Angels, Helena Brewers, and Billings Mustangs. They’re all small to moderate MiLB markets, none had notably creative branding, and none had new logos that year or really anything in particular worth celebrating. It’s like they drew random teams from a hat. I love it.

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It’s fitting that Durham and Charlotte are next to each other, because in some ways, their fates have been intertwined. Both North Carolinian teams were “promoted” levels during periods of MLB expansion–Charlotte from the Southern (Double-A) to the International (Triple-A) League when the Rockies and Marlins were new, and Durham from the Carolina (Class A-Advanced) also to the International when the Diamondbacks and Devil Rays came along. To this day, these regional rivals battle it out at the Triple-A level.

Portland Beavers 80s logo

It’s pretty great to have such a clear close-up of the 80s-90s era Portland Beavers logo. As you can see, the beaver is wearing the same cap that the Portland players wore at the time–a butchered version of their parent club Twins’ logo of that era.

Palm Springs Angels logo

It’s rare to get such a good clean look at the Palm Springs Angels logo. It makes me want to set up some photography lights to get better contrast and brighter colors. Lord knows, it looks very sharp in person. A better image could be better used by sportslogos.net or other sources.

Yes, I treasure these posters. They look cool in the MLG office and they are useful for historic records. If only I had the same thing from 1983…or ’73….