In January 2019, the Advanced Rookie affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Missoula Osprey announced it wanted to change its name. After a name the team contest, PaddleHeads earned the most votes of the remaining names.
What is a PaddleHead?, I hear you ask. Well, the antlers of a moose are called paddles. And that explains the name paddle head. But paddle also refers to kayaking, a sport that can be practiced in Missoula on the Clark Fork, Blackfoot and Bitterroot rivers. Also, a movie named “a River Runs Through It” was shot in Missoula.
The new primary logo of the club features a baseball bat paddle as well as a glowering, partially submerged moose. A baseball is nestled within one of its antlers, while a fishing line is wrapped around the other.
According to Taylor Rush, PaddleHeads director of marketing and public relations, the club had the same logo since 1999, and this is coming from someone who has to do creative content: the center of that logo is not where you think the center is. It was a real pain for graphic design. Rush stated: “The goal was to find something that really represents what it means to be from Missoula. But we wanted to make sure it was a decision that the entire team was OK with. Matt Ellis, he and his parents moved the team here in 1999 and developed the Osprey branding. It was a special thing for him, so the fact that he got on board and is excited as he is, says a lot about what we’ve been able to come up with.”
The name Osprey was rather unique as the club was named after a species that lived in the ballpark that is its natural habitat. It won’t come as a surprise that the logo was designed by San Diego based Brandiose.
The club comes with some fine merchandise. The club will sport five (!) on-field caps. Which of the caps will be the home cap, road cap and alternate is not clear yet.
One of the five caps catches the eye as it shows a trout that is caught by a moose that is fishing in the background surrounded by the outline of the State of Montana. Personally, I like the M (with antlers) cap best. Too bad it isn’t made in green.