On the cusp of their 20th year as the Grasshoppers, Greensboro’s Minor League team has taken a leap forward.
The Grasshoppers, High-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, unveiled refreshed logos and uniforms during a ballpark event on Wednesday evening. The long-running South Atlantic League team, which adopted the Grasshoppers moniker in conjunction with moving into their current home of First National Bank Field in 2005, made a variety of changes while retaining its core aesthetic.
“It's switching the green, going from the hunter green to a Kelly green,” said Grasshoppers general manager Tim Vangel, who has been with the club since 2004. “The actual [grasshopper] itself, we tweaked him a little bit. Maybe went a little bit more mischievous, kind of a little side eye.”
The orange home caps feature a bat-wielding grasshopper encased in a “Block G” logo, a familiar look within the North Carolina city’s sporting landscape.
“A lot of different sports teams [in Greensboro] have used that G,” said Vangel, citing the team’s pre-Grasshoppers’ stint as a Yankees affiliate and the athletic teams of Greensboro’s Guilford College as examples.
An orange alternate cap, meanwhile, depicts the Grasshopper throwing a baseball. This mark is reminiscent of the team’s previous fielding-centric primary logo (a hopping grasshopper catching a ball on the hop). A second alternate cap logo, described by Vangel as the “blade of grass G,” features green swirls against a black background. “It’s starting to grow on me,” he said, punning inadvertently.
“We’re switching up the uniforms a little,” Vangel continued. “Going with a gray road pant and a gray and black jersey top. Then we’ll have the Kelly green and cream for the home. So hopefully it’ll go over well.”
In addition to this being Greensboro’s 20th year as the Grasshoppers, there were other factors that precipitated the logo refresh. Temerity Baseball bought the team from longtime owner Donald Moore prior to the 2022 season, adding the Grasshoppers to a portfolio that already included the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. Temerity Baseball brought in Louisville-based Studio Simon – overseen by logo design veteran Dan Simon - to help create the new look.
“[Simon] did the Kannapolis [Cannon Ballers] logo, so they were familiar with him and enjoyed the work he did with that logo rollout,” said Vangel. “[Simon] did some of those things you don't even realize. You know, I always thought our script was nice, and it looked just fine. But he redid the script, the font itself. …The script is a lot cleaner.”
Wednesday’s carnival-like unveiling event featured uniforms modeled by baseball players from nearby North Carolina A&T University and plenty of team merchandise available at the team store. It’s all part of a busy offseason for Vangel and his front office, who will now get to work incorporating the new look into their signage and marketing while also overseeing player development-focused ballpark renovations.
“After 20 years of one logo, it's different,” said Vangel. “Some people are gonna love it, some people are gonna hate it. But I think once it’s all said and done and people have a chance to get used to it, it’s going to be well received.”