Photo: provided by the Louisville Bats
Cincinnati Reds' first baseman Joey Votto prepares to take a swing in a Doctor Strange jersey during a rehab assignment with the Louisville Bats on May 14, 2022.
Farm players within the Cincinnati Reds' system soon will get a bit of a Marvel-ous makeover.
Marvel Entertainment has announced that it will expand its relationship with Minor League Baseball, designing new comic book-style logos for teams participating in its "Defenders of the Diamond" program
. Each of the Cincinnati Reds' triple-A through single-A minor league teams – Louisville Bats, Chattanooga Lookouts, Dayton Dragons and Daytona Tortugas
– will wear the new logo on the field in 2023 and will make it available on merchandise, Marvel says.
The team logos are "designed by Marvel’s legendary illustrators," the company says.
Marvel Entertainment, keeper of the Marvel Comics flame for characters like Iron Man and Doctor Strange, is slowly rolling out the MiLB team logos, with only 23 available as of press time. No Cincinnati-affiliated teams are available yet, but the company will continue to release logos throughout October and November, it says, with a final reveal on Nov. 18.
The first logo became available at New York Comic Con on Oct. 6
. New York City is the home base for many Marvel characters, including Spider-Man, Jessica Jones, the Fantastic Four and Daredevil. Marvel also will distribute "Defenders of the Diamond" comic books during games over the next two seasons.
Of Minor League Baseball's 120 full-time teams, 96 will participate in the Marvel crossover. The partnership will continue through 2024.
"The first phase of MiLB’s groundbreaking partnership with Marvel Entertainment delivered on our promise to bring our unique brand of fun and entertainment to more fans across the country,” Kurt Hunzeker, Major League Baseball’s vice president of minor league business operations, says in a release. “When you combine the creative power of these two storied brands, the promotions, events, and now merchandise fans will see in ballparks and retail stores in the years ahead will create memories that will be passed from generation to generation, and we are beyond excited to share these new team-specific logos and characters Marvel created as we build excitement for the 2023 baseball season."
Next season will be the second for the "Defenders of the Diamond" program
, which in 2022 saw teams playing in Marvel-themed uniforms and interacting with popular characters. Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto donned a Doctor Strange jersey
as he played through a rehab stint with the Louisville Bats in May.
The Cincinnati Reds' 2022 season ended with a record of 62-100
– just the second time in franchise history that the team racked up 100 losses (the last time was in 1982). The Reds will kickstart the 2023 season with a home opener against NL Central opponent the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 30
at Great American Ball Park.
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