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Gateway Grizzlies 103

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 2024 May 4

The Gateway Grizzlies play in Sauget, Illinois, which is basically an industrial park disguised as a village, located just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Lest you think this is an exaggeration, let me say that when I went to go some research on this town, I tried to find the official website for the village and the closest I found was a page about the village on the website for the Sauget Business Park. The village was founded to allow chemical plants run by Monsanto (in fact, the original name of the village was Monsanto) to be in a village of their own rather than be part of a nearby town or city that might actually do something to regulate them. One of its main claims to fame is that the village was the largest producer of PCBs in the United States before PCBs were banned and the site of the PCB plant was declared a Superfund site. Today the village is home to a major sewage treatment plant that serves most of the Illinois portion of the St. Louis metropolitan area. In fact, the village president (one Richard Sauget, Jr., great-grandson of the Sauget the village is named after, and incidentally the owner of the Grizzlies) has been quoted as saying point blank, "We were basically incorporated to be a sewer."

In short, this is not a place you really want to live in. And not many people do: it has a population of just 141. Despite this tiny population, it has a police force of 16 people (for comparison, the town I live in has over two hundred times the population but the police force is only six times larger). And why does it have such a large police force? Because crime in Sauget is terrible. It has a higher crime rate than East St. Louis. According to what I found, it has a higher crime rate than 99.9% of cities in the U.S.

In short, it doesn't exactly strike me as someone you'd want to set foot in after dark...or before dark, for that matter. I'm honestly amazed that someone would think to put a baseball team in such a town. But I apparently don't know what I'm talking about, because not only is there a team in town, but that team has been around for nearly twenty-five years. Clearly they're doing something right.

I will begrudgingly concede that one of the things they're doing right is their name. Generally I'm not a fan of naming teams after regions instead of cities, but I think it's fair to cut them a little slack here. There are multiple reasons for not wanting to use Sauget as the locative: first because most people in other cities wouldn't know how to pronounce it (the name is French, so it's "saw-ZHAY"), and second because all the things I described above make it somewhere you don't necessarily want to brag about bring from. Using East St. Louis wouldn't be much better (although at least people know how to pronounce it), and using St. Louis seems rather presumptuous. Using Gateway gives everyone a vague idea of where the team is from without getting into all those unpleasant details. As for the Grizzlies nickname, let's face it: the last thing you want to do is use a name that actually has anything to do with the place. What would such a name even be? Gateway Polluters? Gateway Car Thieves? No, better to go with a generic animal, and don't even worry about the fact that it isn't native to the area. Again, you probably don't want a name that has anything to do with the place.

Is the logo another thing they're doing right? Here I'm not sure. Sometimes I look at the facial expression and think it's a reasonable attempt at drawing an angry anthropomorphized bear. Other times I look at it and think the bear looks constipated. Either way, the eyeblack is a bit odd (yes, some baseball players use it, but in general it's more common in football than baseball), and the ballcap looks way to small.

Still, like I said, it beggars belief that a team could survive three weeks in a place like this, much less a quarter century. If I think they're doing something wrong, that probably says more about me than it says about them.

Final Score: 103 points.
Penalties: Region, 8 pts; Alliteration, 5 pts; Equipment, 13 pts; Humanoid, 30 pts; Cartoon, 47 pts.
Bonuses: None.


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