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Potomac Nationals 96

Notice: All logos on this page are included within the parameters of 17 U.S.C. § 107, which states that the reproduction of a copyrighted work for purposes of criticism and/or comment is not an infringement of copyright. No challenge to the copyrights of these logos is intended by their inclusion here.
Posted 2016 August 7

There's a lot about this team's name I don't quite understand.

Let's start at the end. The Potomac Nationals are really close to the Washington Nationals (the two stadiums are less than 25 miles/40 km from each other), but the P-Nats are in a much lower league — the Advanced Single-A Carolina League. You could certainly be forgiven for thinking that they, like the New-York Penn League Staten Island Yankees and the California League San Jose Giants, are a low-level team near an affiliate who owns them and thus has little interest in nurturing a separate identity for the lower team. But the Washington Nationals don't own the Potomac Nationals. Their owner is a local who has owned the team since the Washington Nationals were still in Montréal. The team had two other names under his ownership (the Prince William Cannons and Potomac Cannons). When the Expos moved to Washington, he immediately signed up to be their affiliate and willingly gave up the team's own identity to tie it to the new MLB team in town.

And then there's the "Potomac" bit. Obviously, this portion comes from the nearby Potomac River. But there are a couple of issues here:

1. The Potomac isn't the closest river — Now, to be fair, the Potomac River isn't that far away. How could it be, when the team is so close to Washington and the Potomac is in D.C.? And indeed, it's only about 10 miles/15 km to the Potomac. But it's less than 2 miles/3 km to the Occoquan.

2. There's already a Potomac, Virginia — It's not a legal entity anymore, having been annexed by Alexandria, but it's still an area recognized by the name "Potomac". It's just far enough from where the P-Nats play that it's ridiculous to suggest the P-Nats are named after that place, but just close enough that it's ridiculous to suggest the name isn't ambiguous. Worse still, the team used to play in Alexandria, and as best as I can determine their old stadium was in the bounds of old Potomac. They didn't start calling themselves "Potomac" until they left Potomac.

Then again, I suppose it works in its own way. When I'm watching a Washington Nationals game on TV, they almost always mention the upcoming Potomac Nationals game. You don't see that with the Baltimore Orioles and the Bowie Baysox, even though the Baysox are about the same distance away. Also, last year, the P-Nats' average attendance was almost as high as Bowie's, despite playing in a lower league. So I suppose I shouldn't criticize too much.

As for the logo, it's basically the same as the Washington Nationals logo except that it isn't. There are definite similarities: a circular logo with the name of the team in a blue circle at the outer edge of the logo, with the initial in the middle. But the "P" for Potomac is in a very different font than the "W" for Washington; indeed, "Potomac Nationals" and "Washington Nationals" are written in different fonts. Also, the background of the central part of the logo is a baseball for Potomac and a plain white circle for Washington. Still, there's clear similarities. Again, I'd criticize them for the lack of originality in the logo but, again, it works in its own way. So keep on being unoriginal and confusing, P-Nats. It's stupid, but it works, and as the old saying goes, if it's stupid and it works then it ain't stupid.

Final Score: 96 points.
Penalties: Region (egregious due to the potential for confusion), 17 pts; Offspring, 12 pts; Equipment, 13 pts; Letter, 24 pts; Humanoid, 30 pts.
Bonuses: None.

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