A few years ago, my wife and I took a short road trip through Pennsylvania and New York and we ended up spending the night in Binghamton. There was some sort of motorcycle or RV or boat fair going on, I can never keep them straight, and as a result, every hotel was booked solid. Keep in mind, we’d been driving straight from Virginia, we’d witnessed a terrible car accident, and we drove through a town that had been long ago abandoned because of underground coal fires. We were tired and we were ready to get some dinner and get to sleep.
Eventually, we did find something—a Super 8, I think—on the edge of town. We drove downtown to find some dinner and that’s when I discovered two things I’d never noticed before. The first is something I’m sure many people never knew—the good people of Binghamton spelled their city name wrong. This happens a lot—illegible land claims, stupid postal clerks, bureaucracy at its finest. You spell a city name wrong when you send your information to the Postmaster General and you never recover.
The other, of course, is that the Binghamton Mets, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets and member of the Eastern League, have a “bee” as their mascot. I may have known this prior to my visit, but it struck me as odd. I don’t know even know what a Met is—I hear in the New York City area, it’s a baseball-headed creature—but I’m pretty sure it’s not a bee. I don’t think the New York Mets are one of those clubs who put firm pressure on their farm clubs to adopt the parent club’s team name, but if you like the bee theme, go with Binghamton Bees. It actually works, you know. It sounds better than Binghamton Mets anyway.
The logo itself, though… first of all, when I look at a team logo, I’m almost always looking for the bad. The bad things tend to stand out, you know? It’s like this: when you hear a terrible song, you can right away say, “Man, this song sucks.” Sometimes, though, when you hear a song you think you might like, you listen a little longer before you affirmatively state you like it. Just to make sure the chorus doesn’t ruin it or there’s no cheesy guitar solo. You have to be sure.
Well, I didn’t spend too much time looking at this logo, honestly. The colors are perfectly okay and expected with them being affiliated with the Mets and all. Blue and orange work together, generally. This logo is their hat insignia, which is why there’s no “Binghamton” or “Mets” spelled out. So that’s not a problem, either. Full team names on baseball caps never ever ever works. And I think there’s a “B” behind the bee…I can’t be totally sure because the bee blocks most of it. Which may beg the question: “Why have the ‘B’ at all?” I don’t know. Call me crazy, but if you’re going to put a letter on your hat to signify the team’s city, why obscure it?
But no big deal because it’s the entire package we’re talking about. But I can’t get behind anthropomorphic animals. I’ve tried and I’ve failed. And of all the thousands of teams that have anthropomorphized animals (or worse), it’s hard to say some aren’t as bad as others. But insects just aren’t scary when you cartoon them up and give them big arms and clothes. Especially when it doesn’t, well, look like a bee. I mean, it’s yellow. It has wings and antenna. But it looks nothing like a bee. The wings are way too simplistic. I know this is a hat insignia but this bee image appears in nearly all their team art with the same wings. They look like aspirin. Or Frisbees. And another pet peeve of mine is when a mascot in a logo wears a uniform that the team does not wear. I can find no image of a Binghamton Met wearing that uniform. And it seems a bit detailed for a logo.
But the biggest question of all is: What in the world is going on with the bee’s “tail”? Is that supposed to be its stinger? Is it a superbee? One of those African Bees from South America that was supposed to invade Texas and then the rest of America in the 1980s and kill everyone? Is that a saw? Is it some sort of swoosh to imply movement? Someone sometime needs to explain that.
It’s not awful. It’s not Tri-City Dust Devils awful. It’s family-friendly and visually attractive with its colors and its composition (even though the “B” is awkwardly obscured). It’s just that the bee itself is way too cartoony, way too detailed in some placed and lacking it in others, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why it’s a bee at all. I keep wanting to call the team the Binghamton Bees and I keep being wrong.
By the way, I’m kidding about Binghamton being misspelled. It’s just missing a “p,” that’s all.