Student designs jersey for Red Wings Catholic Schools Day - Catholic Courier

Student designs jersey for Red Wings Catholic Schools Day

Ten-year-old Lucy Quigley will make her minor-league debut June 2 at Rochester’s Innovative Field, throwing out a ceremonial first pitch before the hometown Red Wings take on the St. Paul Saints.

Lucy earned the honor by creating the winning entry in a jersey-design contest the Red Wings organization sponsored earlier this year for Catholic-school students in the Diocese of Rochester. Lucy, who is a fourth-grader at St. Francis-St. Stephen School in Geneva, and the Red Wings will be sporting jerseys bearing her design during the game on June 2, which is Catholic Schools Day at Innovative Field.

Lucy’s design was one of several hundred entered in the jersey-design contest, according to Eric Friedman, the Red Wings’ senior director of ticketing and group sales.

“I think (the contest) is going to be a fun new tradition that we do annually,” he remarked.

Catholic-school community comes together at Rochester baseball stadium

While the contest itself may be new this year, Catholic Schools Day at Innovative Field — formerly known as Frontier Field — is a tradition that goes back more than a decade, Friedman said. Each year, members of the Catholic-school communities throughout the Diocese of Rochester’s 12 counties are invited to the Rochester ballpark for the event, and they seem to appreciate the opportunity to gather together, he said.

“Each school can do their own events, but there’s something to be said about bringing everyone together. Roughly 1,500 people annually come together from the Catholic-school community,” Friedman said.

Members of the Red Wings organization are proud to play a role in uniting members of the wider Catholic-school community, as well as other groups they host during themed days at the ballpark, Friedman added.

“We try to be an outlet and a source for unifying a potential group of people. … That’s ultimately our job, is to figure out what groups of people may need an outlet for gathering and getting together. What better excuse to do so than at a ballgame? We have a model that works, and we apply that with unique twists and turns to specifically apply to the organization that we’re doing the event for, and we make sure we do it big and do it right,” he said.

Catholic-school students participate in Red Wings’ first jersey-design contest

Catholic-school students typically have an opportunity to parade around the field — often carrying banners with their schools’ names — before the Red Wings take the field on Catholic Schools Day, and to run the bases with mascots Spikes and Mittsy after the game. The players themselves usually wear Catholic-school themed jerseys, which are auctioned off after the game, Friedman said.

“The jersey has typically been one our graphics team comes up with. This year, I felt like I just wanted to do something a little different,” he said. “Giving the students and families and the entire Catholic-school community something to get them even more excited was kind of the goal.”

Over the winter, the Red Wings provided Catholic schools with jersey-shaped templates and asked them to invite students to design jerseys they’d like to see the players wear on Catholic Schools Day. Pledging to choose a winner and use that design as a model for the Red Wings’ jerseys on June 2 was a little nerve-wracking, Friedman admitted. Such jersey-design contests are not a new phenomenon in Minor League Baseball and have been run in other markets, but it was a new initiative in Rochester, and Friedman wondered what would happen if no one entered, or if the submitted designs were not usable.

Such fears proved to be unfounded, and Friedman was pleasantly surprised to receive hundreds of entries from students in at least eight different schools.

“We had some great ones to consider,” he said.

Team’s name inspired Geneva fourth-grader Lucy Quigley’s winning jersey design

Friedman and his colleagues on the Red Wings’ promotion team chose eight favorites, posted them on the team’s social-media accounts in late February and asked the public to vote for their favorite. Hundreds of people voted, and Lucy’s design was crowned the winner on March 1. The Red Wings’ graphic design team digitized Lucy’s design and sent it to their jersey vendor to recreate, Friedman said.

Drawing upon the team’s name for inspiration, Lucy designed a bright red jersey with a pair of wings prominently featured on the back.

“I drew the wings because they’re the Red Wings,” Lucy explained matter-of-factly. “And I just wanted to put a baseball on the front.”

The baseball she drew is heart-shaped, “probably because she’s a 10-year-old girl,” Lucy’s mom, Amy Quigley added. The heart-shaped baseball is joined on the jersey’s front side by a pair of crossed bats and the team’s name.

The Quigley family and a handful of friends will be at the ballpark on June 2 to support Lucy as she throws out the first pitch.

“I’m happy and excited,” Lucy remarked.

Tags: Catholic Schools, Sports
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