As someone who spent years dressing up as one of the most iconic food-based mascots in professional sports history, I have a special place in my heart for food-based logos.
Yes, from 2004-2006 I was one of the Milwaukee Brewers' racing sausages. And while I treasure my time racing around the field in Milwaukee, the sausages are a mascot and not a logo. Which is why when Joe announced that we were doing a logo month here at TOC, there was really only one that I had any interest or desire in writing about.
In a field of interesting minor league logos, there is one that stands out as the flakiest, the perfect compliment to a hearty breakfast or a satisfying dinner, the one logo where when you hear of its very existence makes you think of everything from late nights out with your buddies at Denny's to waking up at your childhood home and heading to the breakfast table, where mom would invariably have something waiting for you that was good for your tummy and even better for your soul. They're great with sausage gravy, they're even better with a warm pat of butter, a foodstuff nearly all of us can agree upon especially if they're fresh out of the oven and made with buttermilk.
I'm talking of course about the Montgomery Biscuit. Look at that thing. It is ridiculous. It is glorious. It looks delicious. And as you'll learn later on in this piece, it may have been responsible for a team employee finding love.
The Biscuits are the AA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, proud members of the Southern League. The Biscuits themselves have been as integral a part of the path to the Major Leagues for future Rays stars as biscuits are a path to a delicious meal. Over the course of their existence, such future stars as David Price, Evan Longoria, Jeff Niemann and B.J. Upton and others have worn the Biscuits' blue and gold, likely chuckling along the way about introducing themselves to the women of Montgomery as a Biscuit in the process.
So how exactly did a minor league baseball team come to be known as the Biscuits? Surprisingly enough, it's not a tribute to the 11 Waffle Houses within city limits, which are well known for serving a mean biscuits and gravy dish loved by truckers and late night diners throughout the region (note: I have no way of knowing if this is actually true, I personally enjoy Waffle House myself and assume that if there are 11 of them in Montgomery, so too do the town's residents).
No, according to Biscuits General Manager Marla Terranova-Vickers (sidenote: those have got to be the coolest business cards ever), the Biscuit name has a much deeper meaning. Here's what she toldThe Smart Journal about the winning entry in the organization's Name the Team contest:
"A native of Montgomery, Tripp Vickers, submitted the name "Biscuits" and we fell in love with it. Not only was it representative of the region, but it was campy, quirky, and playful and it could be used in a variety of ways. After having some preliminary logos done, we knew it could work."
So there you go. Not only are biscuits delicious but they apparently represent the entire Montgomery metropolitan area, which I'm presuming is also delicious.
Of course not only did Tripp Vickers win the Name the Team contest, in a strange twist of fate he also won the heart of the woman who would go on to be the Biscuits' GM. Tripp would marry the then-Marla Terranova this past year, eight years after he submitted his winning entry, thus proving that families really do come together over biscuits. It's amazing what you can find on the internet.
But while the team's logo is a biscuit, their mascot, oddly enough, is not.
This, ladies and gents, is Big Mo. He is very clearly not a biscuit. So what the hell is he?
The team's website describes him as such:
"Big Mo is a fuzzy and fun Biscuit Lovin Beast. Big Mo is one-of-a- kind! Big Mo is responsible for entertaining fans young and old. He’s out at Riverwalk Stadium each and every game. Seven feet of baseball love, hailing from parts unknown, the eighth wonder of the world and the Biscuits’ biggest fan!"
Funny, Joe and I have both been described as biscuit lovin' beasts ourselves at varying points in our life. Big Mo appears to be an anteater or perhaps an elephant who spent too much time rolling around in red clay. Why the team didn't go with a biscuit for the mascot is beyond me other than it might be a challenge for a short, round, stuffed mascot to navigate the Riverwalk Stadium concourse without causing some major disruptions.
All things considered, the Montgomery Biscuit is one of the most inventive logos in the history of minor league sports. It's aesthetically pleasing, it's innovative, and it helped bring a couple together. The same can't be said of others such as the Schaumburg Flyer or the Carolina MudCat.