Connecticut Tigers

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2010-2019

 

The Connecticut Tigers of Norwich, Connecticut, played an even ten years in the New York-Penn League. For every year within the Teens decade, they served as Class A-Short Season affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.

The C-Tigers began following the 2009 season, when the Double-A Eastern League’s Connecticut Defenders left behind Norwich’s Dodd Stadium and moved to Virginia, where they play today as the Richmond Flying Squirrels. The stadium did not stay empty for long, and in that same off-season, the New York-Penn League’s Oneonta Tigers were moved to Norwich. They kept the COTOB nickname and entered the 2010 season as the Connecticut Tigers.

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Their brand and visual characteristics followed Detroit very closely, though Connecticut found a few ways to show some flair. They made liberal use of an Old English-style letter C in place of Detroit’s D. Norwich’s nickname is the “Rose of New England,” and the Tigers had a rose patch on the sleeves of all their uniforms. In 2016, the team introduced a new logo set featuring a lovably cheerful cartoon tiger cub winding up for the pitch. This little fellow’s jersey also had the rose patch. A version of the tiger’s head, turned to the other side, was used on alternate caps.

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You typically don’t expect a short season club to yield too many big-name alums, but even with that in mind, a full decade of the Connecticut Tigers barely made any contributions to the wider world of baseball. The shining star is Eugenio Suárez, who came up with the Tigers. Reliever Joe Jiménez made an All-Star game for Detroit in 2018, so I guess that’s something. For what it’s worth, Justin Verlander’s brother Ben spent some time in Connecticut. That’s about all there is to the list, though some players on those latter year rosters could still break out as big league stars.

The end of the specific Connecticut Tigers identity came following the 2019 season, when the club decided to do a complete brand redesign. After a lengthy name-the-team process, the franchise was given a wacky moniker and visual motif. The Norwich Sea Unicorns play in the New York-Penn League to this day, and the Connecticut Tigers are but a faint roar in the history of the minors.

 

 

 

Ephemera

 

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Eugenio Suárez, the best Connecticut Tiger

 

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Clever use of typeface for the 2013 All-Star game

 

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Justin’s bro wears the rose patch

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Jiménez

 

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Lovable new logo in 2016

 

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Two MLB All-Star alums in 2018

 

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