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Former Rockies affiliate rebrands as Rocky Mountain Vibes

Patrick Lyons Avatar
November 20, 2018

Colorado Springs – After nearly half a century as the Sky Sox, owing to their original affiliation with the Chicago White Sox between 1950-58, the newest Pioneer League team in Colorado Springs will be called the Rocky Mountain Vibes.

And their mascot is a marshmallow.

It’s quite excellent.

Before the Albuquerque Isotopes became the final stop for the future Rockies, Colorado Springs had been the Triple-A locale for wide-eyed prospects before they headed to the bright lights of Mile High Stadium and Coors Field.

For 22 years, since the first season of existence for the Rockies in 1993, the Sky Sox were last destination before the big show.

Dozens of players every season traveled from the Olympic City to the Queen City of the Plains. Some for a cup of coffee. Others for much more.

Three of the greatest Rockies players in franchise history, Todd Helton, Matt Holliday and Nolan Arenado, owe some of their development to time spent with the Sky Sox. Larry Walker and Carlos Gonzalez also featured during their respective rehab assignments. 

Going back further, Colorado Springs was the Triple-A affiliate for the Cleveland Indians between 1988-1992 and saw the likes of such future stars as Sandy Alomar, Jr., Albert Belle, and Hall of Famer Jim Thome, along with World Series-winning manager Charlie Manuel suited up at 4385 Tutt Boulevard.

After a successful Cheers to 45 More Years campaign during the 2018 season, honoring every iteration of professional baseball in Colorado Springs history, the Sky Sox along with their membership in the Pacific Coast League expired on September 3rd.

On Monday afternoon, a crowd of about one hundred gathered in the banquet room at Security Service Field for the unveiling of the newest name in the Centennial State and for Minor League Baseball.

A rebirth, of sorts.

The assembling crowd consisted of team owner D.G. Elmore of the Elmore Sports Group, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, former General Manager Fred Whitacre, local Little Leaguers, season ticket holders and regional media waited patiently to hear which name would be chosen from a list of five.

Happy Campers, Throttle Jockeys, Lamb Chops, Punchy Pikas or Rocky Mountain Oysters.

In the end, it was none of the above.

General Manager Chris Phillips detailed the impetus for retiring the Sky Sox moniker and building a new identity:

“In 2019, we are honored and thrilled to be entering a new league with a new team and we felt it was important to develop a brand that represents the community… The new team and look represent Colorado Springs, the state of Colorado and the entire Rocky Mountain Front Range.”

The Rocky Mountain Vibes’ three new logos are distinct and creative: a sentient S’More mascot named Toasty; a torched marshmallow on a stick emblazoned with the iconic Colorado “C” from the state flag; and a unique “CS” comprised of a marshmallow with a bite removed and a curled flame.

The Rookie-Advanced Pioneer League club set out to capture the passion of not just those in Colorado’s second largest city, but everyone between the six states and two provinces encompassed by the majestic mountain range visible to millions across our continent.

“There was a five percent chance it was going to be something off the board,” Sky Sox team historian Chris Moyer shared as he soaked in the new decor around the room.

Both off the board and outside of the box.

The season begins on June 14 on the road against the Orem Owlz before The Rocky Mountain Vibes fittingly play their first game at home on June 21 against in-state rival Grand Junction Rockies.

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