CNBC’s Minor League Team Name Wildcard Winner
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
Yesterday we told you that the new minor league baseball team in Richmond, Va., had graciously agreed to allow us to come up with a name for their team.
The team had already asked fans their picks though the local paper, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and came up with a top five list.
Those names included the Richmond Rockhoppers, Richmond Rhinos, Richmond Flying Squirrels, Richmond Hambones and Richmond Flatheads.
Our name would then be added to the list of the possible names and included in a vote in Richmond that would start on Friday and conclude on Sunday. The new team name would then be announced on Thursday, Oct. 15.
Thanks to the press we received – John O’Connor (Richmond Times-Dispatch) and Andy Baggarly (San Jose Mercury-News) - we received more than 9,000 write-in votes.
The most common names suggested included references to American history and the local James River. Hundreds of people wrote in for the River Rapids or River Cats. Others picked names like the Revolution, Generals and Cannonballs.
There were names referencing the area’s tobacco heritage – the Lucky Strikes and the Tobacco Barons - and a bunch of submissions for the Virginia Lovers (in a tribute to the state motto). Richmond’s favorite son Arthur Ashe even got a name (Ashe Kickers?) even though it’s the wrong sport.
When we considered what name we would submit, we had to take into account the local community, the mascot possibilities and political correctness. I mean, did Frank Huguenard really think we could pick the Richmond Emphysemiacs?
With all that in mind, I came up with my top 10: Hellbenders (lizards), Grits, Stink Pots (turtles), Battle Ants, Cicadas, River Raptors, Hush Puppies, Tree Frogs, Blood Suckers (mosquitoes) and Dirt Balls.
In the end, we decided to go with Hush Puppies and here's why:
- It has that deep-rooted Southern heritage
- It's different from what has been out there (I was concerned about the Ogden Raptors and the Everett Aquasox)
- It's kid friendly
- It has great mascot possibilities
- It has an automatic concession tie-in
Out of all the submissions we received, only one person suggested the Richmond Hush Puppies. That man is Jeff Dunn, who sent us that pick at 8:37 p.m. last night, 23 minutes before the deadline. Jeff will receive a cap, a team jacket, a team picture and a short story in the inaugural game program should the name be chosen on Oct. 15.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this. It's amazing the amount of passion that is associated with this process. We hope the people of Richmond and around the country embrace this name and it ultimately prevails.
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com