A new team in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball takes its identity from an icon of aviation history tied to Hagerstown, Maryland. The Hagerstown Flying Boxcars pay tribute to military cargo planes manufactured by Fairchild Aircraft in the 1940s and ’50s.
Nearly 1,200 of the planes—technically two different planes, the Fairchild C-82 and later, the Fairchild C-119—were manufactured in Hagerstown, with the company employing 10,000 people in the city.
The team unveiled an identity created by New Jersey-based Skye Design Studios this week. The extensive suite of logos features the plane itself and a mid-century pilot, with some winks and nods to the visual history of Fairchild Aviation.
“It was important the identity appeal to fans young and old alike, so we were intentional about creating a dynamic logo set—fun while still authentic, with something for everyone,” said Skye Dillon, founder of Skye Design Studios.
While the Flying Boxcars could be used for troop transport and casualty evacuation, the design of the aircraft, exactly the same size as a railroad boxcar, lent itself to a specific use.
“Although a military aircraft, the flying boxcar was unique as it was not a bomber or gunner, but a cargo plane,” Dillon said. “This gave us a really fun angle to create from, with one logo shown delivering baseballs via parachute.”
One subset of logos in the suite focuses on the city’s nickname, Hub City, which honors Hagerstown’s railroad history and connection to aviation. The nickname originates from the way railroad tracks from The Western Maryland, the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O), and the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) rail lines resembled spokes of a wagon wheel on a map. The rail industry, of course, serviced the Fairchild factory.
“This inspired the alternate ‘Hub City’ lettering, a secondary aviation ‘H’ mark formed from wrenches, and of course the rugged baseball pilot ready to get to work,” Dillon said.
From its founding in 1925 through 2003, when the company was purchased by M7 Aerospace, Fairchild Aircraft used various forms of the legendary winged horse Pegasus in its branding. One detail in the logo suite is what Dillon describes as a single-wing ‘H’ that evokes the Pegasus wing from the Fairchild logo.
The Hagerstown Flying Boxcars will join 10 other teams currently active in the Atlantic League when the league begins play in its 2024 season next spring.