An event that was planned somewhere in September but was postponed because the South East was hit by Hurrican Florence, eventually took place yesterday. The Rocket City Trash Pandas from Madison, AL, unveiled its logos at Madison’s Dublin Park.
Currently still the Mobile BayBears, the team will move to Madison, a suburb of Huntsville in Northern Alabama, in 2020. Next year will be the BayBears last as Southern League team in the Gulf Coast area.
Both the name Rocket City and Trash Pandas may need some explanation. As Madison is a suburb of Huntsville, the name Rocket City was chosen because Huntsville is home to many aerospace and defense industry. It was Huntsville where the US developed its rocket program. Trash Pandas is slang for raccoon. The term Trash Panda was popularized by the recent movie, Guardians of the Galaxy 2. In that film, a raccoon character named Rocket is referred to as a “Trash Panda.
BallCorps managing partner Ralph Nelson stated: “I just heard the word ‘trash.’ I hadn’t seen the movies. I didn’t know the phrase,” he said. “We put it in the list of 10 [Name the Team finalists], but I still thought, ‘We’re in the Bible Belt, people won’t react to it well.’ … But looking at the stats, any way you slice it — ZIP code, age group, any demographic you could find — in every case, Trash Pandas dominated.”
When you look to the style of the new logos, you will not recognize Brandiose as its designer right away. But it was that company that designed the new logos. In fact, the style of the logos is very unlike the regular Brandiose style.
The Trash Pandas’ color scheme is described by the team as “Space Black, Rocket Red, Sky Blue, and Trashcan Gray.” According to Klein, the primary logo tells “the story of a raccoon with ingenuity cobbling together all the elements he needs to launch a trash can into outer space.”
“The community has got an incredible amount of engineers, and it’s also a hub of rocket scientists. Literally, rocket science,” he continued. “So we brought it all together. A trash panda in Rocket City is going to figure out how to get a trash can launched into outer space. And when he gets there, he plants his flag on a planet. That’s pretty much the narrative.”
Indeed, an alternate logo — as well as a uniform patch — portrays a triumphant Trash Panda in space, carrying the American flag. Somehow, using a calculator as a control panel and a trash can lid for a helmet, he was able to complete his mission.
Unfortunately, we can only guess for the way the uniforms will look like. As a MiLB cap nut, I am very curious how the new uniforms of the team will look like. But since the team still has a season to fulfill in Mobile, I expect the uniforms only to be presented after the 2019 season.