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Indians’ Lynchburg Hillcats Affiliate Seeking New Moniker

Indians’ Lynchburg Hillcats Affiliate Seeking New Moniker

| On 24, May 2016

A team in the Cleveland organization will be getting a new moniker, but it won’t be the Indians and their often-questioned name and secondary logo, Chief Wahoo.

On Tuesday, the Lynchburg Hillcats announced that the team is looking for a new name for the 2017 season.

Fans will be able to submit nominations for a new team nickname on the Lynchburg website at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com as well as an explanation for why they feel the new name would embody Hillcats baseball. Fans will later be able to select from the top six options in a contest, as chosen by a selection committee for the club.

“The Hillcats as well as other team names have been a big part of this franchise, and they will continue to be,” said Lynchburg team president Chris Jones in a press release on Tuesday afternoon. “We are excited to see what fans suggest as possible names for the team. We have a very loyal and passionate fanbase. We hope they will tap into their creative side to suggest some unique and imaginative names that will be associated with Lynchburg baseball for years to come. We want an identity that captures the rich history of this community and its great baseball tradition. I am confident our fans will generate some original and clever names that convey that to all of Minor League Baseball.”

Lynchburg began their affiliation with the Indians organization last season. They have used the nickname Hillcats for the last 21 seasons. Previously, they used the name of their parent affiliate as their nickname. They have also represented the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Atlanta ball clubs while playing as the Hillcats.

Name changes in minor league baseball are not uncommon, as the Indians have found in recent years with the change at Double-A Akron from the Aeros to the RubberDucks. The trend, however, has been for clubs to find highly marketable, abnormal, unique, and catchy names to latch on to.

The Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets in Binghamton, like Lynchburg, is looking for a new name. Included in their list of potential new monikers are “Stud Muffins”, “Bullheads”, “Gobblers”, “Rocking Horses”, “Rumble Ponies”, and “Timber Jockeys”.

The Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs are also seeking a new name for the 2017 season.

Last offseason, two minor league clubs changed names. The New Britain Rock Cats of the Double-A Eastern League became the Hartford Yard Goats. The South Atlantic League’s Savannah Sand Gnats (A) became the Columbia Fireflies. The season before, the Southern League’s Huntsville Stars (AA) became the Biloxi Shuckers.

The Hillcats’ “Name the Team” campaign begins online on Wednesday, May 25.