Help Name The Newest Minor League Team!

Last year, we found out just how much our readers loved minor league baseball logos.

Our search to find the best logo in the minors - the Southern Illinois Miners- yielded more than 700,000 votes from our readers.

Name That Team
Name That Team

So when we heard that the San Francisco Giants Double-A club, the Connecticut Defenders, were moving to Richmond, Va., we contacted the team's leaders to find out how much we at could be involved in the process.

Team management graciously agreed to give us an inside look from coming up with a team name to working with a company called Plan B to design the logo.

The first part starts today, as readers will get a chance to name this team.

For the last couple weeks, the team has held a contest with the local paper, the Richmond-Times Dispatch, to come up with the best name. More than 6,000 entries were received and 2,500 of those entries were unique, according to the team's chief executive Chuck Domino.

The field was then narrowed down to a final five names, all proceeded by the word Richmond: Rockhoppers, Rhinos, Flatheads, Flying Squirrels and Hambones. Below you will see explanations from the team executives as to why they like each name. You will also get a chance to vote on the current names. Please note, the team does not have any obligation to go with the top vote getter on our site.

Since we wanted to feel like we are also part of the process, the team has given us a 6th "Wild Card Entry."

If you have a team name you think would be great for the Richmond team, e-mail us

Entries will be taken from 9 a.m. ET today (Wednesday) to 9 p.m. ET tonight.'s "Wild Card Entry" into the name game will be announced tomorrow (Thursday) morning and that name will be entered in a vote that will take place on the Richmond Times-Dispatch Web site. The winning logo will be announced by the team on Oct. 15. If the winning team name is one submitted by a reader, that reader will receive an official team cap, team jacket and picture with a short story in the inaugural game program.

While we wait for your submissions, please tell us which of the current five team names you like best. See below for explanations of why those names were chosen.

Richmond Rockhoppers (case made by Chuck Domino, Chief Executive Manager): The James River has many exposed rocks that both humans and animals use to cross the river. Thus, the options for the logo and multiple mascots are seemingly endless. Besides all of that, it just sounds good.

Richmond Rhinos (case made by Todd "Parney" Parnell, Vice President and COO): Rhinos are big, strong, rough and they overcome elements in the toughest of climates. Rhinos live long happy lives, plus Richmond Rhinos sounds cool. No one has ever done Rhinos and the merchandise possibilities are endless.

Richmond Flatheads (case made by Anthony Oppermann, Director of Media): The flathead fish inhabits the James River and judging by the response from the fans, the city feels a strong connection to the James as it being a part of its identity. We can also view a flathead as a nail or screwdriver, which would symbolize the industrial history of the city. No need to fish around for another name. Just nail it down with the Flatheads.

Richmond Flying Squirrels (case made by Tom Denlinger, assistant GM): The flying squirrel is a native species of Virginia, thus tying in the great wildlife and scenery of the area. It is nocturnal and since we play 90 percent of our games at night, it makes sense. With its dense brown coat, big dark eyes and a broad flat tail, it mixes the perfect combination for a fun family mascot.

Richmond Hambones (case made by Bill Papierniak, GM): Virginia ham is a staple of the South. Hambones is the best match for a theme beyond the logo and name that the region can easily find that connection and sense of ownership - a vital point in the marketing and merchandising of the team.

Questions? Comments?