A-Plus Signs, Bartush Signs' Wall Graphics Celebrate Baseball Lore for Yankees' Affiliate
If you’re even a casual fan of baseball, you understand the expansive legacy of the New York Yankees. The Bronx Bombers have won 27 World Championships, had 21 players and managers enshrined in Cooperstown, NY’s Baseball Hall of Fame, and arguably captured the largest, most loyal following of any professional sports franchise worldwide (and, possibly, an equally large legion of detractors – ST Publisher/Editor Wade Swormstedt, a Boston Red Sox loyalist, refers to them as The Evil Empire).
The management of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (PA) RailRiders, the Yankees’ Triple-A minor-league affiliate, capitalized on their parent squad’s legacy by having approximately 6,000 sq. ft. of graphics printed and installed on the walls of its newly constructed club suites. The images capture the “golden years” of Yankee pinstripes, with depictions of such diamond immortals as DiMaggio, Mantle and Gehrig providing an air of nostalgia – still baseball’s strongest drawing card – to the environs.
Mandalay Baseball Properties, a division of Mandalay Entertainment Group, which owns the RailRiders and several other minor-league teams, provided A+ Signs Inc.’s (Old Forge, PA) Tiffany Hannah with raw .JPEG files. She selected the images and their placements in the suites’ confines, and perfected the black-and-white images’ crispness and consistency using CorelDRAW™ X5 software. Tiffany implemented FlexiSign Pro 8 software to help the printer’s onboard RIP navigate the production process.
A+ Signs outsourced printing to Bartush Signs (Orwigsburg, PA), a full-service shop that’s existed since 1946. Bartush produced dozens of 4 x 10-ft. sections using 3M™ Controltac™ with Comply® v3 air-release media that’s decorated on a Seiko ColorPainter W-64s solvent-based-ink printer with 3M’s SIIT GX inks. To keep the pinstripes crisp for several RailRiders seasons, Bartush applied 3M Scotchcal™ 8520 matte-finish topcoat.
Hannah and Bartush’s Jerry Freiwald collaborated on the project’s installation. Because the suites were constructed recently, the wall’s paint had ample surface energy and simply required a wipedown to ensure dust-free application. Using 3M Gold squeegees, the tandem installed the panels with a 1-in. overlap. To keep the prints’ overlaps level and in line, Hannah created guidelines on the templates.
“Distilling all these historic photos into a theme was both the most interesting and challenging part of the job,” she said. “The team’s management really trusted us with this project. From a technical standpoint, it was a challenge to seamlessly wrap around the windows and fire hydrants and maintain the theme.”
Hannah continued, “Whoever your favorite team is, you have to appreciate that the history of baseball so heavily intertwines with the history of the Yankees. When I go to a game and see parents pointing out images of baseball greats to their children, I smile to realize that we’re able to bring the game’s history and imagery alive for them.”