Mets Minor League Affiliates, by their Appearance
Excluding the GCL Mets and other developmental leagues, the Mets have six minor league affiliates, all of which sport different, unique, colors. Those teams are the Las Vegas 51s (AAA), Binghamton Rumble Ponies (AA), St.Lucie Mets (A+), Columbia Fireflies (A), Brooklyn Cyclones (A-) and the Kingsport Mets (R).
And, while we often know that the minor leagues are known for the elaborate get-ups, I believe it’s fair to say that the Mets affiliates have some of the best uniform sets in the minors.
So, today I’m going to rank the Mets affiliates by their uniforms, caps and logos:
6. Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Double-A)
A lot of people love to hate on the re-launch of the Binghamton Mets as the Rumble Ponies, and while it’s at the bottom of my list, I actually quite like the look as a whole. While the name was part of a general fan contest, the name is not without significance. Without going into too much context, Binghamton (and the Tri-Cities in general) was at one time the horse carousel capital of the world, so this Rumble Ponies pays homage to this little known fact.
Unfortunately, the uniforms are not the best in the world, with mostly bland colors, and four completely different caps to match four completely different uniforms. While it’s not a necessity in the minors, I believe that at some of the uniforms should have uniformity.
5. Las Vegas 51s (Triple-A)
Las Vegas is the furthest affiliate from Queens in terms of distance, but is most important in terms of resources. The 51s are in the Pacific Coast League, and their players are often shuffling back and forth between New York and Vegas, so their name is frequently brought up.
It might be because I’m not a fan of Las Vegas or aliens, but the whole 51s brand doesn’t connect with me. I think that their alien cap is the ugliest cap in the minors bar none, but some people like that kind of thing, so I give it a pass. The uniform tops are actually fairly nice, especially the whites with Las Vegas and the red number, but it often feels like a Dodgers look, not a Mets one.
4. Kingsport Mets (Rookie)
The Kingsport Mets are the only Mets affiliate that I’ve never seen play in person. Images and coverage is so scarce, and they play in a stadium that is comparable to a good high school park, but that’s rookie ball in Tennessee, what did you expect?
I do think it’s interesting how their uniform follows the Mets scheme very closely, with the K in place of the famous interlocking NY on their orange and blue caps. Their primary logo is the only thing that looks well, rookie. But again, it is rookie ball.
3. Brooklyn Cyclones (Short Season A)
The Cyclones have one of the strongest brand presences in the entire Minor Leagues, and while it isn’t orange and blue, they pay homage to their older brothers in Queens frequently, and are an all around good club.
They do have a lot of them nights, some of which cause a one-day name change, with names like the “Brooklyn Slices” and the “Coney Island Franks”. All around, this is good fun, and a good brand to root for.
2. St Lucie Mets (Single A)
The St.Lucie Mets often fly under the radar, but their 2013 re-design really screams Mets in Florida, or “Tropical Neon Mets” which is what I think the Minor Leagues should be, a switch-up of the big club. They are relatively simplistic, with only two caps and three uniforms, and it is very warm and inviting.
Until last year, this was my favorite uniform set and brand of any of the Mets affiliates, but after the Sand Gnats left Savannah, it was Glow Time…..
1. Columbia Fireflies (Single A)
Yes! The Columbia Fireflies are my pick as my best overall affiliate in terms of appearance. First, look at the primary logo, and tell me that isn’t pure genius. Perhaps the best part is the use of neon green and grey, two colors that are almost never used in any minor league city. They have four uniforms and three caps, all of which glow in the dark. For a sport deprived of new unique brands, the Fireflies one is a very, very strong one, even if you wouldn’t suspect they were the Mets affiliate.
So that’s my list. Yes, I’m a sucker for the glow of the Fireflies green uniform, but overall, there are no bad designs in the Mets minors, and there are plenty of bad designs around MiLB. Do you have a different list, share it with me @NikoMetsPlus or leave your thoughts in the comments below!