The Richmond Flying Squirrels unveiled their new logo(s) today. Observe:
That’s right, a middle-aged baseball executive willingly donned a mask and form-fitting suit in a room full of photographers. And here, in what may or may not be an exclusive, is the photographic evidence:
On Tuesday, I blogged about Richmond’s “Name the Team” contest. Satisfied with my work, I then took the following day off.
But, as the saying goes: “You snooze, you looze.” And I have lost. For while I was convalescing with Country Joe records and The Roald Dahl Omnibus, a crucial development occurred in Richmond’s contest.
A “wild card” entrant has been added to the list of contenders, courtesy of CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell. What happened was this: between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday, fans were asked to submit their “wild card” name suggestions to Rovell. He recieved over 9000 responses, and chose the following (Drum Roll, please):
This is an unorthodox pick, to say the least. Today, Rovell posted on his blog that “The most common names suggested included references to American history
and the local James River. Hundreds of people wrote in for the River
Rapids or River Cats. Others picked names like the Revolution, Generals
Just one fan, meanwhile, suggested “Hush Puppies.” Despite the lack of anything resembling a common consensus, it captured Rovell’s attention for these reasons:
It has that deep-rooted Southern heritage
It’s different from what has been out there
It’s kid friendly
It has great mascot possibilities
It has an automatic concession tie-in
There is some precedent for “Hush Puppies”, since there is already a Double-A team named after a staple Southern food (the Montgomery Biscuits, natch). For the record, I did not submit any “Wild Card” suggestions. But if I had, I would have gone all meta and suggested “Wild Cards”.
At any rate, fans can cast their vote for “Hush Puppies” (or any of the other five suggestions) at the website of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. If the comments section of the Times-Dispatch is an accurate indicator of public opinion, then the local reaction to the half-dozen names on the ballot could charitably be described as “mixed”. This is understandable, given the across-the-board frivolity of the team’s choices. My guess, however, is that fans will come around to the team name (whatever it may be) once a logo is unveiled and an overall marketing game plan established.
It is worth noting that Chuck Domino, chief executive of Richmond Baseball, previously presided over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. That club has enjoyed two spectacularly successful seasons thus far, and the off-kilter name has played a huge role in how the club brands and markets itself. So, there is reason to believe that the same feat can be achieved in the Richmond market as well.
Promo of the Year Update: As of this writing (2:37 p.m. EST), Bowling Green’s “What Could’ve Been Night” maintains a slight (124 vote) lead over Fresno’s “As Seen on TV Night.” Voting doesn’t end until October 12, so this one is far from over. Vote HERE.
Also, I’m back on Twitter. For real this time: twitter.com/bensbiz
After a hectic and stressful (but ultimately satisfying) week at the Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar, I have returned to New York City’s comforting embrace. What can I say? The city’s talons have a vice-like grip on my skull, and I’m okay with that.
I am also okay with the fact that it is now, completely and totally, the offseason. Since Labor Day I have been pinballing wildly between anger and denial regarding the cessation of the 2009 Minor League campaign, but peace has finally been attained. And just in the nick of time, too, because today I have one of my favorite offseason topics to write about: A Name the Team Contest!
The team in question is the Franchise Formerly Known as the Connecticut Defenders, who will be playing in Richmond in 2010 (and beyond…an article I wrote on the topic can be found HERE). Over the past two weeks, the team solicited name suggestions from fans. Over 6000 entries were recieved, and today the finalists were announced. Here they are, in order alphabetical:
Flying Squirrels: Gliding mammals that can be found in the Richmond area.
Hambones: A reference to the high-quality ham that is produced in the state of Virginia (not to be confused with the defunct literary journal, or blues guitarist Hambone Willie Newbern).
Rock Hoppers: People or animals that move from rock to rock while traversing a river are known as “Rock Hoppers”. That’s all I’ve got.
Rhinos: These are obviously not native to Richmond. But “Richmond Rhinos” sounds pretty cool, and that’s all that matters.
The name-the-team contest is being run through the website of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and those who wish to vote can do so HERE. Voting runs through October 11, and the winner will be announced on the 15th.
As a personal aside, I must express my disappointment that my entry of the “Richmond Richie Riches” was rejected. Perhaps brokering a licensing deal with Harvey Comics would have been prohibitively expensive, but such considerations did not deter the Casper Ghosts.
VOTE! — We are now in Day 5 of voting for MiLB.com’s “Promotion of the Year.” The Bowling Green Hot Rods’ “What Could’ve Been Night” currently enjoys a commanding lead, but there is still plenty of time for another team to come from behind. Voting ends on the 12th, at which point I will contact the winning team with messages of congratulations. I will also be seeking quotes.