Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 12/10/11

With even fewer resources than most minor league teams, independent league teams need to be that much more creative in order to generate interest and buzz about their organization. Some teams have done a great job of this over the years. Here are the five most creative independent league logos…

London Rippers - The Rippers are a brand new franchise that created a good amount of controversy upon the release of their logo. When one reads the words "London" and "Rippers", it’s almost impossible not to think of Jack the Ripper, a serial killer that terrorized an impoverished London (England) district in the late 1800s. However, the Rippers say the man in the logo is not Jack the Ripper, but rather a character called “Diamond Jack,” a frustrated hockey player who has the ability to “rip” the covers off baseballs and has a mysterious back-story (source). Of course, because don't all hockey players parade around town in a back top-hat and trench coat?

They’ve managed to create quite a buzz about their team, which is always good, and give they've create a highly effective double entendre in the word Rippers. Job well done.

Joliet Slammers - Similarly to the London Rippers, any time a team can find a way to create a double entendre, and make it baseball relevant, you've got to give them credit. Though the name doesn’t exactly work well for tourism, it does pay homage to the city’s history, which includes Joliet Prison (looks awesome), built in 1858.

Kansas City T-Bones - Any logo that makes me hungry is a good one. We’ve already gone over some bizarre food related logos, but who doesn’t love a nice juicy T-bone steak? OK, Prince Fielder, but other than him!

Oh, and their mascot’s name is “Sizzle”. Yum.

Normal Cornbelters - Everything about this team name and logo is interesting. What the heck is a cornbelter anyway? Maybe part of the point is that you have to look it up. Since there is no such thing as a cornbelter, such a search will provide you with nothing but information about the team and links to their website.

The name is in reference to the team’s Illinois location, which is along the nations “Corn belt”. The logo plays off of the corn theme, of course, but it’s “bored” look plays off of the name of the city, Normal, as well as makes one think of a corn field, which, in terms of baseball, will always be linked to the move “Field of Dreams.”

Lake County Fielders - Speaking of teams that evoke thoughts of the movie “Field of Dreams”, the Lake County Fielders were pretty much set up to exactly that. Actor Kevin Costner reportedly was a part owner of the franchise, but he has had very little, if any, involvement with the team over the last couple of years. In fact, the franchise itself has been nothing short of a complete disaster almost from day one. Our own Matt Linder has was on the story all summer, following their implosion from the fact that they started their second season with no stadium and up to and beyond when they were eventually kicked out of the North American Baseball League.

It’s a shame, because they had the location (almost exactly in between Milwaukee and Chicago, they had the a big name to ride the coattails of (Kevin Costner) and they came up with a team name and logo that played their cards perfectly. However, things got so bad that their announcer actually quit on the air, but not before airing his dirty laundry to all who happened to be listening.

Crazy.

Honorable mention

Danville Dans - I imagine after hours and hours of going over and rejecting possible team names, the front office finally said, “Screw it. Let’s juts call ourselves the Dans”. They went with something so straightforward, yet different, because who names their team after their city (aside from the Angels, who originally actually played home games in the city of angels)? The Dans play in the city of Danville, IL, which was founded in 1827 through land donations of two men. One of those men was named Dan Beckwith.

However, none of the current front office staff (per their website) are named Dan and only one player on their listed roster is named Daniel. No word on whether or not he goes by Dan or Daniel.

The logo is simple, but makes nice use of the classic Old English D. Though I think it would be awesome for them to just write DAN in Arial font across the front of their hats.

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