Madison, We Have A Name: Rocket City Trash Pandas
The first of what is expected to be a series of new names and rebrands dropped on Wednesday evening, when the new team in Madison, Ala., revealed the winner of their fan vote. Starting in 2020, after one more season as the Mobile BayBears, the franchise will be known as the ... Rocket City Trash Pandas.
Trash Pandas was selected from a group of five finalists that also included the Moon Possums, Space Chimps, Comet Jockeys and Thundersharks, all of which played off of the regions history with space exploration. In the end, the fans decided that they wanted the one finalist that did not involve that theme.
A release from the team's ownership, Ballcorps, broke down the Trash Pandas' rise to victory. When they were included in the round of 10 semifinalists, Trash Pandas garnered 41.3 percent of the vote, nearly 30 percent more than the closest challenger, the ThunderSharks. Once they moved to the second round, with four other finalists, Trash Pandas trounced ThunderSharks again, 44.75 percent to 19.25 percent.
The press release also notes that "Rocket City" was chosen by fan vote as well, from a three-name pool that also included North Alabama and Madison as possible contenders. Rocket City took a whopping two-thirds of the vote in that contest.
The contest and logo art (which has yet to be released) was handled by Brandiose, which has become Minor League Baseball's dominant creative force over the last half decade or so. In recent years, they've also been behind logos for the Hartford Yard Goats, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, Lehigh Valley IronPigs and countless other rebrands.
Logos and other merchandise will be unveiled on Oct. 27 at a free community celebration, the press release noted. The new team in Colorado Springs, which will replace Helena in the Pioneer League, as well as the new teams in Amarillo, Texas and Fayetteville, N.C., will all be releasing new names and logos over the course of the rest of the year.
BYE, BYE, BABY CAKES: News out of Wichita, Kan., this morning says that the New Orleans Baby Cakes, the Marlins' Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League, will move west to Kansas following the 2019 season. It will then be replaced by a Southern League team in time for the 2021 season. More information is expected to be released at a news conference on Friday.