Oklahoma (City) RedHawks
The Oklahoma/Oklahoma City RedHawks of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was a team identity that existed for seventeen seasons in the Pacific Coast League. During that time, they served as the Triple-A affiliate for two MLB teams from the state next door–the Rangers and the Astros.
The RedHawks identity was born following the 1997 season, when the American Association was disbanded and the remaining teams were dispersed to the other Triple-A leagues. When the Oklahoma City 89ers franchise joined the PCL, they changed their nickname to the RedHawks and dropped the “City” from their place name.
As the new team trotted out onto the field of brand new Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in ’98, they wore red and black uniforms and had a cap logo with the letter R embellished to vaguely resemble a red-tailed hawk. Officially, the team’s nickname, RedHawks, was rendered as one word with the H capitalized–the classic CamelCase styling.
The RedHawks kept their affiliation with the Texas Rangers, who had been with the 89ers for several years prior. In the eleven years that the Rangers and RedHawks were united, several future big-league All-Stars and award winners passed through Chickasaw Bricktown, including Carlos Peña, Francisco Cordero, Michael Young, R.A. Dickey, Adrián González, C.J. Wilson, Nelson Cruz, Edinson Vólquez, Ian Kinsler, and Chris Davis. With the relative proximity to Arlington, the Rangers also shipped countless big-leaguers to OKC for rehab stints and last gasps.
After the 2008 season, in the waning years of the Rangers era, the RedHawks overhauled their identity about as much as possible while still maintaining continuity. They added the City back to their place name, and introduced new colors, logos, and uniforms. The team’s uniforms, now with navy blue and other accent colors added to the red, were made to resemble major league button-down outfits. The new primary and cap logos were simple, with the letters OKC entwined with bats and such. They also introduced an alternate logo with a cartoon red-tailed hawk holding a baseball bat in its beak.
The new look Oklahoma City RedHawks stayed with Texas through the 2010 season, but in the open PDC signing period, the Rangers and Astros essentially swapped Triple-A affiliates. The Round Rock Express joined up with Texas and the RedHawks found a home with with Houston. The Astros era was short-lived, but produced a good handful of future stars, including J.D. Martinez, Dallas Keuchel, and George Springer, as well as several other role players from the Astros’ 2017 World Series-winning squad.
The end of the RedHawks came following the 2014 season, when the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ownership group bought the team and named them in their own COTOB image. The newly christened Oklahoma City Dodgers now suit up in the Pacific Coast League, and the RedHawks have flown away into minor league history.