Last year, when the Jackson Generals announced on April 1 that they’d become the Hub City Hippos for every Friday home game that season, it was a joke. Enough people were on board with the idea last year, however, that the team decided this year to do it for real.
Despite once again announcing the promotion on April Fool’s Day, among a barrage of pranks from other teams, it’s really happening this year. The Generals will become the Hippos every Friday night, starting with today’s game against Birmingham. As is tradition with these types of promotions, the team will change its uniforms for those games, the merchandise will be available for purchase all season long and the game-worn jerseys will be auctioned at the end of the season to benefit a local charity. In this case, the proceeds from the auction will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Jackson.
“We wanted to pay homage to the hippopotamus. Locals know that hippos are a major part of the ecosystem in West Tennessee,” Generals assistant general manager Nick Hall said. “The Generals are honored to be the first organization in the region to rightly honor the species.”
The designs for the caps and jerseys were done in-house, marking a second team’s departure from the two minor league design kingpins–Brandiose and Studio Simons–this season. The Lowell Spinners went to FS Designs for their new artwork.
And for those 11 Friday home games, the Generals will pull out all the stops to pay homage to West Tennessee’s rich hippo heritage. There’s a pond outside the Ballpark at Jackson, and there are rumors of a vibrant hippo population living under the water. There are even rumors of a Hungry Hungry Hippos tournament on the concourse at the ballpark.
“The Jackson Generals,” Hall said, “are just happy to shed some light on the hippo epidemic here in West Tennessee.”
In 2018, all roads (in Triple-A, at least) will go through Columbus.
The Clippers announced on Wednesday that they’d been awarded both of the classification’s jewel events–the Triple-A All-Star Game and the Triple-A Championship. This is the first time one city will host both games. The all-star game will take place on July 11, and the championship game on Sept. 18.
“As we considered what to do to make the 10th season at Huntington Park special, it became apparent to us that hosting these two events and tying them together in a season-long tribute to Triple-A Baseball was something that had a great deal of potential and appeal to us,” Clippers general manager Ken Schnacke said. “We hosted the second Triple-A All-Star Game back in 1989; so it certainly was our turn as other cities have already hosted it a second time. We also felt that the Triple-A National Championship Game in mid-September would be a nice exclamation point to a 10th year celebration of us moving to the Arena District in downtown Columbus.”
This year’s all-star game will take place in Tacoma, Wash., and the championship game will be played in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, home of the reigning Triple-A champions. Columbus lasted hosted the all-star game in 1989, and has never hosted the championship game.