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Emeralds graphic designer takes ideas from the drawing board to the diamond

Eugene Emeralds graphic designer holds up dozens of jerseys he designed since he started working for the team in 2012. The Eugene Emeralds will hold a Throwback Thursday and Teacher Appreciation Night August 18. Teachers can get free box seats. (Photo by Amanda Butt)

EUGENE, Ore. – When the lights illuminate PK Park in the summer, it’s not just the homeruns that turn heads in the crowd.

The jerseys are a hit, too.

Clad in green, blue, purple, and occasionally pink jerseys, the Eugene Emeralds step onto the diamond in style thanks to the team graphic designer Danny Cowley.

Cowley joined the Ems in 2012.

“I feel like our fans love them," Cowley said. "I’m not really sure if our players always love them, but they have a good time with it."

With the jerseys, Cowley gets to let his imagination run wild.

“We did a Beatles Night for Father’s Day in 2013. And then, after that I really wanted to do a Star Wars jersey,” Cowley said. “So I did a Boba Fett-inspired jersey with Boba Fett armor.”

While the baseball team puts in its hard work over the summer, Cowley stays busy in the off-season.

From September to April, he’s busy crafting designs on his computer.

The goal: come up with ideas the fans will go crazy over.

“There’s a really cool sasquatch-inspired one I’m trying to get done with. It’s full-body fur suit,” Cowley said. “We ran out of time this year, but maybe next year.”

Cowley submits his approved designs to Wilson, the uniform manufacturer. The jerseys and pants arrive a few months later.

But the jersey’s lives don’t end at the end of the ninth inning.

Most of them are sold to help community organizations.

“A lot of the specialty jerseys for the themes we auction them off during the game in a silent auction and then proceeds for those go to local charities,” Cowley said.

During any given night at PK Park, several former specialty jerseys can be spotted in the stands among the crowd.

Cowley said it’s their audience that drives them to create an entertaining environment using not only the jerseys, but also the video board, music, promotions and the team’s mascot, Sluggo.

“It’s minor league baseball at its finest and we just – we have a really good time with it,” he said. “That’s all part of the show and we try to make sure we do it the best.”

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