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The Greatness of the Greenville Yard Gnomes and Minor League Baseball Logo Design

From a logo design perspective (and you know I love me some logos), few things make me as generally happy and excited a Minor League Baseball logos.

Which is why I was so excited to hear about the Greenville Yard Gnomes.

Greenville Yard Gnomes Baseball 2024 CPL

The new logo for North Carolina’s Greenville Yard Gnomes, who begin their first season in the Coastal Plain League on May 24, 2024 at Guy Smith Stadium

Yes…that is a baseball team, a very new baseball team and I am here for all of it (even though Greenville is 90 minutes away and I may never get to a game). I’m all in on the Yard Gnomes.

I’ll tell you why in a minute but first a not-brief-enough explanation on baseball leagues for non-“sportsball” people, (and look, I like baseball but I don’t follow/live/die baseball – an MiLB game is a great night out for me #goBuffaloBisons #goDurhamBulls #goCarolinaMudcats).

For those who don’t really follow baseball, they may only know the Major League Baseball teams (MLB) – like the New York Mets or the Los Angeles Dodgers…the teams that play for the World Series and get most of the attention. Even non-sportsball people will recognize these and other MLB names.

These MLB teams ALL have farm clubs…a kind of feeder system of players and coaches for the MLB make up teams in the Minor League Baseball system (MiLB). In this system, there are ranked MiLB leagues of teams from lowest (Single A) to highest and closest to the MLB (which is Triple A). Below that that are a series of much smaller leagues that I refer to as Development Leagues (I’m sure there’s a better name but I’m trying to get to logos here, people!!) 🙂

So, as to why I’m all in on these non-MLB teams?

These MiLB farm clubs and smaller teams, in my opinion, have to work especially hard to gain attention in their communities to get people to come to the games and for advertisers to spend money.

There is sooo much creativity that goes into MiLB and Developmental League gameday events, preparation, sponsorship (maybe broadcasts if they are fortunate). But to me it all starts with two things for an MiLB or Developmental League team to get a good start and be able to build a franchise: team name and logo.

The team name and logo set the stage for everything that comes after it.

The name has to resonate with the community (historically, geographically, comically – take your pick or mix & match). The name or a nickname has to be something the fans will be able to proudly scream and cheer for. The icon colors need to tie in with the community or be really smart looking. Of course the logo itself needs to grab the community for so many reasons, not the least of which is merchandise sales.

Not sure?

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs BaseballGo ahead and TRY and tell me you’re not the least bit curious about a baseball team called the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Biloxi Shuckers, the Lansing Lugnuts or the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels.

You’d be lying. Don’t lie to me!! 😉

So when I hear about a new, non-MLB baseball team, I know all the work, blood, sweat and tears (and often not great salaries) that went into the work (and will go into future work) to get the team’s branding right.

Which leads to this morning’s revelation (at least it was a revelation to me) that North Carolina is getting a new baseball team as part of one of those Developmental Leagues I spoke of…this team is the Greenville (NC) Yard Gnomes.

#GoGnomes (I made up that hashtag…not sure if it will stick).

Coastal Plain LeagueThe Yard Gnomes (which I imagine may start to be referred to by fans as the YG’s (pronounced “whygeez”, one word)) are now part of the Coastal Plain League (CPL), which is a collegiate summer league, featuring top-notched college players from across the nation. The CPL features 15 teams across Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Many of the CPL teams play in former minor league stadiums and cities, as well as in newly constructed stadiums that meet Class A standards. Capitol Broadcasting Company, a Raleigh-based broadcasting, sports marketing and real estate company bought the CPL in 2022.

It’s such a small league that, as of this writing, the CPL web site hasn’t even posted the YG’s new name & logo (Capitol Broadcasting has). No blame here, these minor-minor league leagues are often severely understaffed.

These are a collection of college players traveling across the South in summer, with players often living in the homes of local team fans who sponsor them with living quarters (players paying maybe a small fee) for the season. These players also have other jobs. The players need to really LOVE baseball because out of about 1,700 players, on average only 10% of them make it to the majors.

Peter K OConnell Holly Spring Salamanders Baseball

Raleigh-based voice actor Peter K. O’Connell – who really enjoys any night at a minor league baseball park – proudly models his Holly Springs Salamanders baseball cap from ’47 Brand. Holly Springs is a suburb of Raleigh, NC, The new (for the 2024 season) Greenville Yard Gnomes will be in the same summer baseball league as the Salamanders.

These facts I learned some years ago at a game of a sister CPL team to the YG’s, the Holly Spring Salamanders (and yes I have a Salamanders hat – of course it’s a ’47 Brand Cleanup — my favorite!!).

So all of that – the branding, the small staffs, the low budgets, the house rentals, the blood sweat and tears all went into kicking off this new baseball team in Greenville.

And the team name and logo are awesome. Fantastic! I love it. Why?

The Yard Gnome name, just as a guy on the outisde looking in to a market/community I do not know much about, is unique, quirky and fun. The name brings a smile. This to me is a VERY good start and memorable for a league whose average game attendance seems to hover around 1,000 on its best nights.

ECU Pirates Athletics

The Yard Gnome logo is cute, charming and whimsical…like yard gnomes (unless your neighbor has, like, a thousand of them in the front yard).

The CPL has created a brand story to tie in the legend of gnomes with Greenville’s East Carolina University’s Pirates and some of the history of baseball in Greenville to make it all flow.

Brian Begley Graphic Designer NJ

The Yard Gnomes logo was designed by Brian Begley, a New Jersey-based artist, who is know for his ability to blend historical and contextual elements with a clean, simple style.

The YG’s will enjoy their inaugural Opening Day on Friday, May 24 against the Tri-City Chili Peppers at Guy Smith Stadium, their new home.

Spotting a Buffalo Bills’ Fan in Raleigh, NC

Voice Actor Peter K. O'Connell - Buffalo Bills fanAs the Buffalo Bills prepare to host the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Divisional Playoff game in my old home town of Buffalo, NY (well actually, the stadium is the the suburb of Orchard Park, NY), I felt I should address something that might not get spoken of very often.

My new hometown (well going on 8 years anyway) of Raleigh, NC (well actually I’m the suburb of Cary, NC — turns out in the past two sentences, I’m not terribly good at geography) — any this new place I live in North Carolina is Buffalo, NY SOUTH!!!

Unbeknownst to me and my family when we moved here there are a ton of Western New Yorkers and Buffalonians down here.

So whether I am wearing my Bills, Sabres, Bisons or Bandits shirts (or even an old Buffalo Braves shirt), somebody always says something like “Go Bills” or “Let’s Go Buffalo”.

None the less, as you’ll see in the video…while strolling across Raleigh as a Bills fan, I remain “surprised”. 🙂


MEDIA RELEASE – More Fun for 2024 with O’Connell’s New Voiceover Logo

Peter K. O'Connell Your Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent 2024RALEIGH NORTH CAROLINA – January 1, 2024 – – If you’re going to be America’s Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent, you logo better look a lot more friendly and fun. At least that’s what Voice Talent Peter K. O’Connell decided, feeling his last logo design (yes, his design so he’s to blame) didn’t have enough of either.

For 2024, O’Connell’s voiceover logo maintains its iconic RCA-77 microphone (with the audio’connell Voiceover Talent icon), while adding fun new colors and fonts.

In the fine tradition of logo unveilings, this announcement has to include a pompous yet meaningless quote about the logo from the designer. “The font choices are both more fun and much friendlier – reflecting both my voiceover performance philosophy as well as my long standing tagline,” O’Connell said. (Nailed my pomposity!)

Furthering the tradition of logo details that nobody but the designer (yes, him again), really cares about, there is this. The red and blue logo colors were inspired by the original school colors of O’Connell’s college, the University of Dayton (red and light blue); the colors of his favorite football team, the Buffalo Bills; as well as some of the school colors from the University of North Carolina (light blue) and North Carolina State University (red).

Plus the colors just look nice together.

About Peter K. O’Connell

             Voice actor Peter K. O’Connell has shared his voiceover and audio production skills with companies around the world.  Peter’s commercial and narration clients include brands like iHeart Media, Crest Toothpaste, IBM, SXM Media and AWS. O’Connell’s audio’connell Voiceover Talent is a Source-Connect equipped voiceover studio and is a division of O’Connell Communications, LLC.

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Peter K. O’Connell

Your Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent

audio’connell Voiceover Talent

P.O. Box 5493 | Raleigh, NC 27512-5493

PH. +01 716-572-1800 & +01 919-283-1516

EM. peter@audioconnell.com

W. audioconnell.com




VO Credits Link


Use lower case letters- audio’connell or audio’connell Voiceover Talent

COMPANY NAME PRONUNCIATIONau·di-o’·con·nell (awe-de-oh-kah-nel)