Beginning next season, the Kannapolis Intimidators minor-league baseball team will have an alternate logo featuring the late Dale Earnhardt, the NASCAR legend who was a minority owner of the team.
The new logo is a red letter "I" intertwined with the famous depiction of Earnhardt with arms raised, much as he did after he won a race.
Players on the Class-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox will wear the new logo on the field during special Dale Earnhardt-related occasions, Intimidators general manager Randy Long said.
Merchandise featuring the new logo is now available at the souvenir store at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium, including hats, T-shirts, sweatshirts and logo baseballs. More merchandise will arrive in a few months, Long said.
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The team sees the alternate logo as a fitting tribute as the team continues to look for ways to enhance its partnership with Mooresville-based Dale Earnhardt Inc. and the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, Long said.
The alternate logo was produced by Phire Branding Co. of Ann Arbor, Mich., which recently completed efforts on a new Dale Earnhardt NASCAR Hall of Fame logo and the new Dale Earnhardt Inc. website
The Intimidators will continue to use the primary logo they've worn since the team's first season in 2001.
Earnhardt died in a last-lap crash during the 2001 Daytona 500. His seven championships are tied for most all-time with Richard Petty. He was known as The Intimidator for his driving style on the track.
The alternate logo showcases Earnhardt's love for baseball and his involvement with the team in his hometown, said Jeff Steiner, executive vice president and general manager of Dale Earnhardt Inc. "And it will continue to add to his legacy," Steiner said.