After 46 years, the Reading Phillies are no more. Philadelphia’s
Class AA affiliate unveiled the end result of its re-branding process to
anxious fans on Saturday. Say hello to the Reading Fightin Phils.
The Fightin Phils moniker should ease some of the angst over
the name change at least, as it does further the franchise’s long-standing ties
with the Phillies organization. Then again, the ostrich is an odd choice to
represent the city.
As you can see, the logo depicts the gangly bird engaged in fisticuffs. It’s a nod to the popular “Crazy Hot Dog Vendor” who runs
around the field throwing hot dogs into the seats between innings. The
character wears a costume that makes it appear he is riding an ostrich.
The goal is to appeal to kids according to general manager
Scott Hunsicker, via the Reading Eagle’s Mike Drago.
"Our main impetus (in the rebrand) was that we felt the
Reading Phillies (logo) didn't speak to kids," Hunsicker said. "It
was a word. We've got to speak to the children of our community; we've got to
engage them, and kids really latch onto animals.
Damn words. Kids don’t want to read. They want to pet cuddly
animals. Like ostriches…
The re-branding also includes eight new uniforms which use
varying forms of the ostrich and feathered lettering from the logo, or the Baseballtown
signage complete with Bunbino, which Drago describes as an “angry hot-dog figure.”
Fans were staunchly opposed to the changes prior to the
reveal. The Reading Phillies resonates in the area perhaps as much or more
than the Reading Railroad or Reading Outlets. The Fightin Phils breaks from
that tradition, but only slightly.
While unnecessary, none of these alternations truly detracts from
the experience at the ballpark. People will get used to the name and logo over time, no
matter how ridiculous both may seem.
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