New Orleans Announces New Name

Weeks after the Marlins’ Double-A team in Jacksonville changed its name from the Suns to the Jumbo Shrimp, the club’s Triple-A affiliate updated its identity as well.

After a naming contest and a subsequent fan vote, the New Orleans Zephyrs will become the Baby Cakes for the 2017 season and beyond. Baby Cakes was chosen from six finalists. The other five choices were the King Cakes, Crawfish, Po’ Boys, Red Eyes and Tailgators.

The announcement was followed by a video featuring local celebrities, including Shaquille O’Neal, Ron Swoboda, Alvin Gentry and Jim Mora declaring “I am a Baby Cake.”

The team’s logo was designed by Brandiose, which has supplied art this offseason for the Jumbo Shrimp, the Florida Fire Frogs (formerly Brevard County Manatees), Binghamton Rumble Ponies (formerly Mets) and Down East Wood Ducks (formerly the High Desert Mavericks, before the franchise moved to Kinston, N.C.)

NYSEG Stadium Upgrade

Speaking of the Rumble Ponies, their home ballpark is about to get a renovation. The team announced on Tuesday a $2.5 million series of upgrades that club plans to implement before the beginning of the 2017 season.

“Our city, our entire community, reflects on the memories of this ballpark while writing a new chapter of Binghamton baseball history,” Binghamton mayor Richard C. David said in a release. “Our project represents the most significant commitment to fans and this franchise since the stadium’s construction more than 25 years ago.

“Sen. Akshar has again delivered, bringing significant state resources to this City-owned facility. John Hughes and his staff, as well as the New York Mets organization, deserve high praise for their vision to improve NYSEG stadium and their dedication to this community.”

Among the planned changes to NYSEG Stadium, which was built in 1992, are new stadium lighting, new bullpens and batting cages, a new entrance gate in right field and seating upgrades in right field and along the third-base line.

All but $500,00o of the cost will be provided by grant funds through the State and Municipal Facilities Program of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. The remaining portion will come from the team’s ownership group, Evans St. Baseball.

Kane County Stadium Name Change

The Kane County Cougars on Tuesday announced a naming rights deal for their stadium. The former Fifth Third Field will now be known as Northwest Medicine Field. The new deal is for five years.

“We are thrilled to announce this multi-year partnership with Northwestern Medicine,” Cougars vice president and general manager Curtis Haug said. “Both Northwestern Medicine and the Kane County Cougars organization are committed to providing affordable family-friendly entertainment and improving our community. We look forward to working together on multiple community initiatives in the years to come.”

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