Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Minor League Baseball Logo Contest-The Final Vote!

At the beginning of March, we embarked on this massive project. We asked for your help to name the best logo in all of Minor League Baseball. Well, after more than 525,000 votes, here we are. We’re down to the final two.

The #3 seed Southern Illinois Miners come from Marion, Illinois and represent the independent Frontier League. Their opponent? The #12 seed Wichita Wingnuts, who made it to our finals, despite the fact that they will play their very first game in May. (To be honest, we thought we’d be writing about them anyway, because they will operate the nation’s first cash free ballpark.) The Wingnuts are also independent, representing the American Association.

To help make your decision a little easier, I decided to interview both mascots about their lives and what they would do if they took home the title. You can see their comments below. If you want to just vote, simply go to the poll.

Please take your vote seriously. There's a lot on the line here.

#3 Southern Illinois Miners vs. #12 Wichita Wingnuts

First up, is John the Miner from Southern Illinois since he had a day off to rest up for the contest.

Darren: John, we've already had a performance-enhancing drugs controversy in this contest. Let's be honest. You look ripped. Is it all natural?

John the Miner: It’s all natural. We’re good, law abiding people here in the heartland. Keep in mind, I’m only one year old. Performance enhancing drugs are just not worth the risks, especially for a young logo such as myself.

Darren: Do you lift weights or is it all from mining?

John the Miner: I don’t use free weights or anything like that, but I definitely do some heavy lifting down in the mines. I also like to stay in shape by playing baseball and golf. I can use my custom pick axe bat for mining, playing baseball and playing golf in Southern Illinois.

Darren: What's the difference between a miner and a Wingnut?

John the Miner: I think the main difference is that a miner risks his life to collect important resources that provide people energy, and a wingnut is an inanimate metal object. In fact, you’d probably need a miner to get the ore needed to produce a wingnut.

Darren: What will you do if you win's minor league logo contest?

John the Miner: I want to focus on the task at hand before I start planning any celebration, but I’d probably celebrate with my friends, Lucky the Canary, Grounder the Mole and Dynamite. My son, Lil John, would provide the music, of course.

Now, let’s hear from the folks in Wichita.

Darren: Mr. Wingnut, what is your name?

Wingnut: It’s just Wingnut. MISTER Wingnut if you’re nasty.

Darren: Those eyebrows of yours. They are quite thick. I think I just realized they are baseball laces. Is that correct?

Wingnut: Not since Michael Dukakis, twenty years ago, has a set of eyebrows this manly and prolific been on the national stage representing such hope and promise for the future. Unlike Mikey, however, I won’t be coming in second though – yanowudeyemsayin?!

I digress . . . yes, you’re right, they are baseball laces in all their red-threaded glory. They look a heck of a lot more refined lately -- before I hooked up with a great salon here in town and let their waxing services split the red-laced sea of my brow, I went through a nasty “uni-lace” phase that made me look like Sesame Street’s Bert, only angrier. Speaking of facial hair, it looks like my competition, Miner Boy, could use an introduction to Mr. Razor. Paging Mr. Simpson. Mr. Homer Simpson, please visit the white courtesy phone for a message and a shave!

Darren: What's a Wingnut anyway and how'd you wind up in Wichita?

Wingnut: Wingnuts, in the mechanical sense, are a nut with metal pinnings to increase torque and allow the nut to be secured and loosened with your fingers versus a tool. Easy on, easy off – like the Southern Illinois Miner’s Mother’s pants! In the political sense they are people who are deeply mired in a conservative mindset, not that we have a lot of deeply conservative people here in Kansas (ahem). In the malicious, schoolyard sense, they are people with big (and laughable) ears but we’re changing the perception on who’s laughing lately.

I didn’t so much chose Wichita as Wichita choose ME. The ownership had a public contest to submit names and then to choose a name from entrant finalists. Wichita, as you might know, is the Air Capital of the World. While there are not any actual wingnuts used in the manufacturing of most planes (particularly the plane’s/jet’s wings) we are “nuts” about our “wings” here in town.

Darren: Why do you feel you're stronger than a miner from Southern Illinois?

Wingnut: Have you seen my teeth and my stare? And the metal thingies coming out of my head?! Bottom line, Mr. Miner, it’s going to take a lot more than your HGH-enhanced arms, your cutesy beard, cheesy grin and thorn-encrusted bat to get past this much anger when it is coming straight at your head at approximately 90 MPH . . . even in a dark mine shaft where you might feel most at home.

Darren: What will you do if you win's minor league logo contest?

Wingnut: Honestly?! It’s just another day being Mr. Wingnut, my friend. I don’t need the readers of the Sports Biz blog to tell me how handsome, intimidating and awesomely-awesome I am. I kid, I kid. Truth be told, I’ll probably spend the night partying – jumping from bolt to bolt for a quick turn around. You know how we champions like to party! Then I’ll use my “best logo in all the land” contract incentive clause bonus check to FINALLY complete my collection of all 172 episodes of Wings on DVD. I just love those Hackett brothers and their Nantucket hijinx!

Questions?  Comments?