Major League Baseball’s mid-summer classic will feature the following special event baseballs for the Home Run Derby and Futures Game. Also included, the Home Run Derby Gold “Money Ball” Replica. Images were provided by USA Sports Marketing, which offers all of the 2012 Rawlings Commemorative Game Balls – Futures Game and 2012 All-Star Game balls available here.
In my unduly judgmental opinion, some creative director within MLB’s marketing arm must have been on vacation the week these logos were due. Simplistic design is fine and can still be visually appealing, if not an absolute home run. But in most cases I feel it must include some form of artwork, like this year’s Los Angeles Dodgers, Dodger Stadium 50th Anniversary logo (right).
It should not be just plain text, we’ve seen that quite a few times now. It doesn’t work with the Civil Rights Game Balls, but I feel with the right font and a little garnishing if you will, it’s pretty appealing on the 2012 Japan Opening Series ball. We must bear in mind, translating a colorful jersey patch or main event logo to a one-color logo on tiny leather canvas, sometimes you’ve got to make sacrifices.
Regardless, in the 13 seasons we’ve had Futures Game balls and the 15 years of Home Run Derby baseballs, this has got to be the most lackluster effort yet. Compare each year’s version for yourselves in the Special Events Commemorative Baseballs section of our Museum of Baseballs. Now that I look, the 2012 Futures ball logo is a complete infringement of the 2008 Futures game logo from Yankee Stadium. For shame!
If I were in control, I’d have a simple plan. If we don’t have brand each event and stick with the same general design annually, then there are two options. One: create an entirely new, one time event logo, using the host city/team or event itself for inspiration; or two: use that season’s main All-Star Game logo as the base design and tweak it for each sub-event. The 2012 All-Star Game logo (left) is fantastic – use it! The crown and/or bunting provides a great background or border for a logo.
Okay enough boohooing. One minor change to note this year (that I won’t whine about): State Farm, which sponsors the HR Derby, and Sirius XM – Futures Game – have a bit better billing with their respective logos. And In case you missed it, the 2012 Home Run Derby 24-Karat Gold Surface ball was unveiled a few weeks ago, photos were first released here by Big League Baseballs. If you haven’t seen it yet here is the $150 24K Home Run Derby Gold Baseball (same commemorative logo as the White version).
After looking again I just noticed the HR Derby logo need a little bit more kerning. “HomeRun” should be two words. Maybe that’s just a hip design choice…