Not to be outdone by any of the other crazy minor league baseball team names out there, the PawSox continue to milk the trend for all it’s worth by transforming into the Pawtucket Fightin’ Quahogs for one night only later this month.
It’s a pretty neat nod to a popular delicacy in conjunction with Rhode Island’s culinary scene. You may recall last year that the PawSox rebranded themselves as the Pawtucket Hot Wieners and what a smashing success that turned out to be. The passion for Hot Wieners was quite clear and so evident – we’re talking about both fans who couldn’t get their hands on merchandise fast enough and PawSox players who greeted the rebranding with a warm reception – so the concept was dusted off and brought back into circulation for one evening earlier this season.
“People loved Hot Wieners so much,” explained Brooke Cooper, PawSox Senior Director of Marketing & Merchandising.
Alas, the time has come to turn the page from that smashing hit, one that helped the PawSox achieve a spot in Minor League Baseball’s coveted Top-25 rankings for licensed merchandise in 2018. Teams rename themselves periodically as a promotional gig; something that has become part of MiLB’s culture.
According to Cooper, the Fightin’ Quahogs finished in the runnerup spot to Hot Wieners. Sticking with the concept of regional dishes, the drawing board for the 2019 season’s one-and-one-night-only renaming included quahogs, coffee milk, calamari, and bakery pizza.
In the end, there was an overriding “clam”-oring within the PawSox front office to go with quahogs. The official blessing came in February with attention quickly shifting to coming up with a logo that, as Cooper noted, would hit high notes in several key areas.
First things first as Cooper had to explain to the PawSox chosen design company the finer points of a quahog.
“The whole idea about becoming the Fightin’ Quahogs is for it to be fun,” said Cooper. “We wanted something that’s not too serious, but we also want it to be authentic.”
The primary logo that’s featured on the caps the PawSox players and coaches will don on Friday, Aug. 30 for the second game of a doubleheader that begins at 5:05 p.m., depicts a quahog with a toothy grin and beady eyes. The quahog is wearing a white uniform with a red undershirt. In his left hand, the quahog is carrying a red bat around which his right hand is tightly clenched.
On top of the Fightin’ Quahog’s head is a hat that features a red brim and a white cap with a “P” on it. The actual on-field caps feature a red brim and a blue cap.
“We wanted the logo to be a little gritty and a little tough, but it’s PawSox baseball and you want it to also be warm and friendly,” said Cooper, noting the Fightin’ Quahogs logo was finalized sometime in May.
If you’re familiar with the Fox animated sitcom Family Guy that’s based in the fictional city of Quahog, R.I., you would swear the PawSox Fightin’ Quahogs would fit in just fine with the Griffin clan.
“We didn’t necessarily base it on Family Guy, although we have gotten that reaction and happy to do so,” said Cooper.
The uniform is a blue top with two red stripes going down the front. If you look long enough, you’ll see the “T” in Fightin’ is shaped like an anchor. Underneath “Quahogs”, you’ll find a series of waves – another feature that speaks to the PawSox paying homage to R.I.’s roots.
“We wanted the jersey to look a little nautical,” said Cooper. “The (PawSox) staff definitely had a lot of input with the design.”
From jerseys to t-shirts to polo shirts to sweatshirts to caps – the options are on-field fitted and adjustable – available for men, women, youth, and toddlers, there’s no shortage of baseball-themed swag with Pawtucket Fightin’ Quahogs emblazoned on it. In less than a month, the PawSox have received orders spanning 27 different states for this ode to a unique Ocean State cuisine.
“If you’re from Rhode Island, chances are you know what a quahog is,” said Cooper.
On the actual Fightin’ Quahogs night on Aug. 30, expect the PawSox to tie in several Ocean State themes as they continue to celebrate the franchise’s 50th year of affiliation with the Boston Red Sox.