Maybe the Blue Rocks will be in play, after all?
As many of you know, I covered professional baseball for six seasons. The final season was under a cloud of new ownership preparing to move the team from the small community to a bigger one in another state.
During that time, I had to try and find leads and such and one was somebody who did a lot of minor league things for a website. Though much of what he told me was off-the-record and items that I could use to try and find out other information, the one thing he told me about minor league teams being rumored to move was “If there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
Sure enough, he was right. Following the season, the team bolted for “greener pastures,” leaving the area without a professional team for the first time in more than 40 years. They now have a collegiate wood bat team that does decently well attendance wise to fill in.
Over the past few years, there had been rumors about the Binghamton Mets being sold and moving. In fact, the rumors not only talked about moving – but where. To Wilmington, Delaware, home of the single-A Blue Rocks. In turn, that single-A team was apparently going to move to North Carolina somewhere. Heck, during a trip to Wilmington last year, people who worked there were chatting a little about it as well.
Binghamton would have likely had the chance to get something else, but who knows what level. Though it might not be the most amazing place out there, NYSEG Stadium is too nice to go without a team, that’s for sure. I know I’m a fan of it.
After some legal battles and all, a new owner did eventually buy the Mets – and he said he is intending on keeping the team there.
Bravo! Having Double A ball so close is awesome.
He also noted earlier this year that the team planned on re-branding after this year (their 25th in Binghamton), which could be a good move in the long run, but for now it’s not going to be the easiest of things to pull off. Besides teams who are connected to the Yankees, I’ve never understood minor league teams keeping the parent team’s name. Why? Basically because affiliations can sometimes bounce around – but the team stays where it is. So, for example, if the Mets decided to move their affiliation elsewhere, they don’t take the Binghamton team. Another affiliation signs on with them. It happens often enough.
So by keeping the team separate, it allows the community to connect. Therefore, the re-branding idea is a good one. The names came in and the team selected the six finalists.
- Rocking Horses
- Rumble Ponies
- Stud Muffins
- Timber Jockeys
Reactions were interesting to say the least.
I can’t lie – I like a couple of them. The Bullheads have potential. The Timber Jockeys could be interesting. A lot of the names are connected with the carousel history in the area. Some of these are just crazy.
I do hope there is room for overturning a fan vote, though.
I love unique names in minor league baseball. I truly do. But some of these could really be hard to get over. The Stud Muffins? Rumble Ponies? Gobblers?
I’m not so sure.
Hopefully, whatever names is chosen, the team gets extremely active on social media (see the Hartford Yard Goats and how they’ve done it) to really get connected to the community. If not, and the community revolts against the name, maybe Wilmington will end up looking pretty good after all.
Hopefully, though, it won’t come to that.
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