It’s been 45 years since the Mounties played baseball in Vancouver, but the red insignia will return to Nat Bailey Stadium this summer in the shape of a cleft-jawed Mountie wearing jodhpurs and a grin.
The Vancouver Canadians revealed new branding in January and honoured the city’s past by introducing the playfully manly character, which will appear on four new team jerseys and additional merchandise.
"Baseball goes back more than a century here in Vancouver and we understand our responsibility to preserve the integrity of the game,” Canadians owner Jake Kerr said at the time.
The Vancouver Mounties competed in the Class AAA Pacific Coast League and, starting in 1956, played 12 seasons at Capilano Stadium until 1969, which was renamed Nat Bailey Stadium in 1978 when the Canadians were moved to town.
The C’s also unveiled a dedicated “nooner” jersey for daytime games and edited the apostrophe in their trademark letter for a small maple leaf, which hints at their affiliation with the Toronto Blue Jays, Canada's only Major Leage team.
Bob Brown Bear, the club’s cherished mascot, is not going anywhere, said Vancouver’s general manager J.C. Fraser, adding that the club had been considering a historical tribute for several years.
“We wanted to make sure that the timing was right when we finally did it,” he told the Courier on Monday. “After three straight championships, we couldn’t possibly find a better time to come out with something like this.”
The unnamed character, called a "historical mark" by the club, was almost endowed with a handlebar mustache, but the look was deemed too aggressive. While he does have three baseball bats and a pair of spurs, he doesn’t have a name — yet.
The Canadians will turn to their fans for suggestions in May and pick a winning name before the season begins June 13 on the road against Salem-Kaiser.