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State League Series - 6/50: Iowa

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Ames RailRiders Ames was originally named after Oakes Ames, a Massachusetts man who was a big part in the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. This is where the name RailRiders comes from. The team uses black, grey, and white, which I feel are representative of railways and trains. The font used is meant to replicated train tracks as there is two parts/sides of each letter.
Bettendorf Gamblers In 1991, an area native and businessman named Bernard Goldstein launched the first modern-day version of a riverboat casino in the waters in Bettendorf. This serves as inspiration for team name, colors, and logos. The colors are two shades of blue to represent the water, while the badge features a die with the waves.
Burlington Hawkeyes When thinking of Hawkeyes, most people associate this name with either the state in general or the University of Iowa. Burlington, however, is where the Hawkeye name first came into use. A subtle detail in the logo which I really like is that the B features a hawk eye peeking through it.
Cedar Rapids Expos Cedar Rapids is a city which is notable partly for the fact that it is one of the biggest arts and culture cities not just in Iowa, but in the Midwest. Some of the arts and culture institutions found in Cedar Rapids are Orchestra Iowa, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the Cedar Rapids Ceramics Center, Theatre Cedar Rapids, and the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art hosts the largest collection of Grant Wood paintings, also known as the man who painted American Gothic. The Gothic Era in general was a big influence on the art and culture beginnings in Cedar Rapids, which is why there is a gothic feel to the design. I initially named them because I thought I had read that the art and culture boom also partly came from the Chicago World’s Fair or an expo in Chicago, but I now can not find that. However, I still feel Expos is a good name for Cedar Rapids.
Clinton LumberKings When Iowa came up, this was the first team I thought of. My parents used to take me to LumberKings game all the time when I was little and these are some of my first baseball and sports memories. Hence, I definitely wanted to try my hand and recreating them in SMB2. While the game obviously has limitations, I think I did well with those limitations.
Davenport Rebels In 1837, Davenport was battling with Rockingham to become seat of Scott County. Davenport won, but through devious and creative methodology, which is what the Rebels nickname pays homage to. The town with the most votes by Scott County citizens in the February 1838 elections would win the county seat. Just before the election came around, acquired the services of laborers from Dubuque, who became eligible to vote. This tipped the vote into Davenport’s favor. The vote was ultimately never certified, resulting in a second election with a 60-day residency requirement for voting. Davenport won this election by two votes, a margin so close that it triggered a third election. This one was won by Davenport due to Rockingham basically giving up on the idea of being county seat. Davenport won this election and quickly built the chambers for the county seat.
Des Moines Caps Inspired by the capitol city of Iowa and it’s architecture. The capitol building in Des Moines is known for its big gold dome. This is why the team wears gold hats and gold helmets. The logo is also meant to show this, as well. The bottom half circle is to represent the building while gold half circle represents the gold dome. The reasoning for Caps instead of Capitols is that the team wears gold caps and that the gold dome can be considered the cap of the building. Credit u/dreddfyre
Dubuque Scouts Dubuque is a town on the Mississippi River, which also has an abundance of Scouts. One of the names suggested was Hilltoppers, but I decided to go with Scouts because I feel that this represented both the hills and river. I also think it works decently with Dubuque’s Key City moniker. Credit u/dreddfyre
Fairfield Silicorns My favorite nickname for an Iowa team and one of my favorite things I’ve found for any State League Series team so far is the Fairfield Silicorns. Despite being somewhere unexpected for a tech hub, Fairfield actually has a sizeable technology industry. As a result, locals nicknamed the area “Silicorn Valley”, a midwestern play on Silicon Valley. I loved that too much to not use it. The colors are inspired by corn with the yellow and dark green, with a bright green included to represent the modern tech hub that Fairfield has become despite the typical stereotype of Iowa towns.
Iowa City-Coralville Ancients Iowa City and Coralville are close enough as to where they can share a team. Additionally, the Ancients name fits both cities, but for different reasons. For Iowa City, the “old capitol” building is found here. For Coralville, floods in recent years revealed a huge collection of remains and fossils. The logo features a dinosaur coming out from a shield, meant to represent the old capitol and the fossils. The black represents the past, while blue and red represent the colors of Iowa. The green, since it comes automatically with the dinosaur, I think makes the whole pallet very interesting and unique, which is why I decided to make it so prominent despite it having no real importance. Credit u/dreddfyre
Knoxville Sliders Knoxville, Iowa is known as the sprint car capitol of the world. For those who do not know what those are, they are the racecars with angled roofs which run on dirt. To me, and I do not know if this is technically this is the correct term, they also look as if they were sliding on the dirt when taking corners. This is where the name Sliders come from. It also helps that there is an obvious baseball tie-in, too, with a slider being a type of pitch. The colors and logos reminded me of a 90s local race track look, which is what I was going for. Credit u/dreddfyre
Maquoketa Bats Another team with a baseball tie-in is the Maquoketa Bats. The main attraction of Maquoketa is the Maquoketa Caves State Park. An animal commonly associated with caves is bats, while also obviously being a baseball thing, as well. I used just the bat on its own because I feel that it also somewhat looks like an M, also. Since the team was named after caves and bats, I wanted a dark color scheme, but I did not want to use just black and white, which is why a dark grey is actually the main color in play here.
Muscatine Melonheads This team combines my love of the Backyard Sports franchise with one of the most unique towns in Iowa. Muscatine is also known as Melon City, due to their fame from growing melons. For those who played Backyard Sports, you remember the Melonheads being a team name option on just about every game and is one of the most recognizable Backyard Sports names. Credit u/dreddfyre for the research and u/tengohierbas, who’s awesome Melonheads post I used as a reference!
Ottumwa Space Pirates Ottumwa is known as the Video Game Capital of the World. Additionally, it is also home to Twin Galaxies. For Ottumwa, I wanted to honor this by creating a team that was inspired by video games. It took awhile, but I thought of the name Space Pirates, which I thought sounded video game-y and also had a bit of a tie-in with Twin Galaxies because it references space. The colors are a bright green and black, two colors I think are commonly associated with video games, electronics, and technology.
Sioux City Sting Despite having a nice roll off the tongue, the Sioux City Sting are actually named for another reason. Sioux City honey is one of the most popular types of honey in the world. Hence, the name Sting, a reference to the bees which produce honey. The colors are also inspired by bees, as well.
Waterloo Belters One of the Midwest’s biggest companies, John Deere, calls Waterloo home. The base of the Waterloo logo is actually inspired by the base of John Deere logo, a square with a bit of rounded edges, rather than perfectly straight. Belters is in reference to assembly lines/belts of the John Deere factory. The town was initially known as Prairie Rapids Crossing, which partly influenced the logo and design, as well. The blue waves across the logo represent both belts and rapids. The bats and baseball represent the fact that “belted” is often used to describe a well-hit ball.
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