From The Depths Of The Sea, A Winner Emerges
Sheldon, from the hit film "Finding Nemo," has a claim as the most famous seahorse in history. He'd rank just ahead of the eponymously named character from "The Little Mermaid."
And that's it. Those are the two representatives outside of the wild for one of nature's most intriguing creations. Just two depictions in all of television, film and popular culture for the curly, crested critters.
Plenty of other sea-dwellers have carved their own niches in pop culture. Dolphins got their due in "Flipper." Orcas shed their killer reputation in "Free Willy." Even sharks slipped out of Jaws' shadow in "A Shark Tale." That's saying nothing of the Rays and Marlins, who, through expansion, fought their way in to Major League Baseball's bunch of birds, bears and snakes.
Late last year, the Norfolk Tides brought a little bit of that nautical flavor to the International League when they changed their logo from an anchor to an angry-looking seahorse. One look at the little guy told you he had vim and vigor enough to brave the 142-game schedule set forth by the IL.
And if vim and vigor weren't enough, he also had a trident. He also had the mass appeal to inspire a 2,100-percent jump in sales in December 2015 as compared with the number the Tides pulled in a year prior. What he didn't have, however, was a name. To right that wrong, the Tides first offered a contest on Facebook to brainstorm suggestions.
From there, the candidates were minnowed—er, winnowed—to the best five choices of the more than 1,000 suggested. Those five were:
Berkley: an homage to the Berkley Bridge, the bridge nearest Harbor Park on the Elizabeth River. The Berkley Bridge is only a half-mile from Harbor Park and connects the city of Portsmouth with the city of Norfolk.
Seamore: a variation of the popular name Seymour, where the ‘SEA’ letters are an obvious homage to the nautical nature of the Tides.
Skipper: In nautical terms, a person who has command of a vessel, while in baseball terminology a skipper is another name for the manager.
Sonar: a technique that uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate with or detect objects under water. Sonar is used in multiple facets of nautical life, including fishing, military applications and scientific functions.
Triton: In Greek mythology, Triton is the messenger of the sea. He is the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, who are god and goddess of the sea. Like his father, Triton often carried a trident. Voters were presented with each of the five choices and invited to vote by "liking" their choice.
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The winner, with nearly 50 percent of the 1,330 votes, was Triton. Triton is the 11th water-dwelling animal mascot in the minors. There are Crawdads, Stone Crabs, Threshers, Manatees, Mudcats, BlueClaws and more. But there's only one seahorse.