Omaha Golden Spikes
The Omaha Golden Spikes of Omaha, Nebraska, was a team identity that existed in the Pacific Coast League for three seasons. For that short time, they were the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
The first Golden Spikes were hammered in following the 1998 season, when the Omaha Royals decided to go full steam ahead into redesigning their identity. The franchise had been called the Royals for the previous three decades, so moving away from the well-established COTOB identity was a bold move. The name Golden Spikes was a nod to Omaha’s rich railroad history, and referred to the golden spike driven in at the completion site of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. Never mind that the site in question was a couple states west, in Utah.
The Golden Spikes hammered out a fairly mild and attractive branding scheme, using midnight blue, red, and true gold colors. Their logos were centered around an image of a golden spike that was recently driven through a baseball, causing the cowhide cover to split outward in no fewer than four directions. They had both a home and road cap, and though both were blue with the spike-ball logo, the distinguishing feature was a gold bill for home and a red bill for away.
Very few, if any, notable up-and-coming players came through Omaha in those three years, and Jeremy Giambi (for what it’s worth) is probably the biggest name. Of course, being Kansas City’s regional Triple-A team meant that Omaha seamheads were treated to the likes of Carlos Beltran, Jeff Montgomery, and other Royals on rehab assignments.
The new brand was a bit of a train wreck, and never caught on with fans. The Golden Spikes were driven back out of the ground following the 2001 season, when the franchise quietly resurrected the Royals COTOB brand. That change only lasted a few more years before the team took on a much more audacious unique identity. The Omaha Storm Chasers are the Kansas City’s Triple-A affiliate to this day, and the Golden Spikes identity was left by the wayside long ago.