New Jersey Cardinals
The New Jersey Cardinals of Augusta, New Jersey, played twelve seasons in the New York-Penn League. For that entire span, they were a Class-A Short Season affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. The team identity began following the 1993 season, when the one-year wonder Glens Falls Redbirds relocated to northern New Jersey. They opted to take on a whole-state place name and shifted from the DimDer Redbirds moniker to the straight COTOB Cardinals identity.
The team’s visual aesthetic flew close to their parent club’s, though they were able to spread their wings with some unique logos over the years, including two right from the start. One was St. Louis’s batting cardinal, superimposed on an outline of the Garden State, with Sussex County colored in. The other logo was a finely detailed petite cardinal throwing a fastball while bracketed by the NJ initials. In the late nineties, they shifted to a new, memorable look–a serious and somewhat robotic cardinal flying swiftly upward at a 30 angle, with motion lines trailing behind.
Considering the low level of the minors they played at, New Jersey had a decent list of future major leaguers, including Matt Morris, Adam Kennedy, Coco Crisp, and Dan Haren. One-time NFL starting quarterback Chad Hutchinson also took the field in Augusta.
The New Jersey Cardinals hit a window following the 2005 season, when they were sold to a group that moved them to University Park, Pennsylvania. The new team, called the State College Spikes, play in the New York-Penn League to this day.