Three such items indeed went unremarked upon (by me) when they were first announced, but today’s post will set everything right with the world. Here, then, is a round-up of that which I neglected.
Generally Speaking — Last month, it was revealed that the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx would henceforth be known as the Jackson Generals.
The new team is a nod to the region’s rich baseball history. Let us journey now to the press release:
According to Kevin McCann, author of “Jackson Diamonds – Professional Baseball in Jackson, “The name Jackson Generals has a rich history of unusual plays and colorful players. Some of the players who’ve spent time on the diamond in Jackson include Shoeless Joe Jackson, Edd Rousch, John McGraw, Ellis Kinder, Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra, Joe Garagiola, Tony Kubek, and many others.”
The team announced the name change immediately following the conclusion of the regular season, an announcement punctuated with some thoughtful nods to the past:
Throwing out the last pitch of the regular season as the Diamond Jaxx was Ms. Jane Des Ormeaux, the 93-year-old fan who doesn’t miss a game. She also is the fan who came up with the name West Tenn Diamond Jaxx. The first pitch as the Jackson Generals was thrown by local businessman Walt Mestan. Mestan, a Chicago native, was one of the leading pitchers for the 1950 and 1951 Jackson Generals.
Miraculous Changes — While not quite as dramatic as a name change, the Fort Myers Miracle will be wearing new uniforms in 2011.
Sez the team: The new uniforms will feature hats that are a lighter shade of navy blue than is currently being worn. The uniforms will also be without pinstripes for the first time since 1993 and feature the current Minnesota Twins logo on the left sleeve.
Addition By Subtraction— On August 31, the West Virginia Power unveiled their new mascot. His name is Chuck, and he replaces the five (!) costumed characters the team had previously employed. No pictures of Chuck seem to exist on the club’s website or Facebook page, but this local newspaper article picks up the slack.
So what else have I missed out on over the last six weeks? Let me know, because my powers of oversight are boundless.
One of the biggest such changes on tap for ’09 is that the South Atlantic League’s Columbus Catfish will be re-locating to Bowling Green, Kentucky. And with the new location comes…wait for it…a new name!
After receiving more than 1100 entries in a “Name the Team” contest, the club has narrowed it down to seven choices. All of these names have something to do with the history, culture, or fauna of the Bowling Green area, and all of them are awesome in their own way. But, I think you’ll agree that one name is a little more awesome than the rest. Let’s see if you can guess which one has received a coveted Ben’s Biz Blog endorsement.
Of course, my winner is Cave Shrimp. From the team’s website:
Cave, located near Bowling Green, is home to the endangered Kentucky
Cave Shrimp, a sightless albino shrimp. The blind cave shrimp has been
registered as an endangered species since 1983.“
I have long advocated for teams to be named after species that are either albino, sightless, or endangered, so to see this holy trinity encompassed into one moniker is a dream come true. Whether you agree with my choice or not, make sure to cast your vote here. And, rest assured, I will continue to provide updates on the evolution of this new franchise throughout the coming months.
There are some big doings afoot in Winston-Salem!
First of all, the 2007 campaign will be the club’s last at venerable Ernie Shore Field. The 52-year-old facility will be left behind in favor of a new downtown stadium, which is currently being constructed.
And with the new digs will come a new team name! After receiving over 3000 submissions from the Winston-Salem community, the club has narrowed it down to five choices. Let’s check them out, shall we?
With the exception of “Wallbangers”, all of these names have a connection to the history and culture of Winston-Salem. Namely, that time when a rhino pilot won a plane race against hip-hop mogul Damon Dash.
In a shocking departure from the usual Minor League protocol, the club is not pitting these five choices against one another in a fan vote. Rather, “artists renderings of potential logos are being considered, as is input
from leading professional mascot consultant and creator of the famed
Philly Phanatic Dave Raymond.”
Which leads me to my next, and final point: Wally Warthog’s days as the team’s mascot are numbered. Hopefully he is taking his built-in obsolescence in stride, because a bitter and rage-filled wild pig is something that no one wants to deal with. Trust me, I’ve been there.