Earlier this week, Suns owner Ken Babby announced that he was changing the team’s name to “Jumbo Shrimp”.
After everyone confirmed via Google search that it wasn’t a hoax, the move was met with widespread ridicule. Many Suns fans were enraged; the team had been known as the Suns for all but five years since 1962. (For those five years in the mid to late 80s, they were the Jacksonville Expos.)
We felt the same way – what the hell was Babby thinking? How could this ever be a good idea?
Then the press conference to announce the move aired later that morning, and the logo and uniforms were revealed.
And… they actually look pretty nice.
It was no secret that the Suns’ uniforms needed a revamp, and now they’ve gotten a major one. The new branding emphasizes the city strongly, from the subtle water features alluding to the St. Johns River to the alternate Bold City uniforms the team will wear for some home games.
The angry little shrimp is even shaped like a J, for Jacksonville.
Obviously they’re not perfect. The red on that Bold City alternate is a little strong, and the shrimp does look pretty ridiculous. One of the alternate logos looks a little bit like an angry piece of shrimp humping the state of Florida. It can’t all be perfect.
While the move may seem strange, it isn’t unusual for minor league baseball. Think about it – over the years, the Suns played opponents with names such as the Shuckers, the Confederate Yankees, and the Blue Wahoos.
For some reason, Babby really likes these weird names. He bought the Indians’ Double-A affliate, the Akron Aeros, and turned them into the RubberDucks.
Apparently this resulted in a large attendance spike, but this may have been the result of a ballpark remodel that happened around the same time.
Plus, the Suns/Jumbo Shrimp have rarely struggled with attendance.
We’ll find out next season how the rebranding affects the team. No matter how ridiculous the name may be, the actual design of the rebrand is encouraging and really does at least attempt to embody Jacksonville. Maybe the name will grow on us.
Let us know what you think by voting in the poll below. Are you on board with the Jumbo Shrimp?