Trash Panda (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Last week, the 10 finalists were announced in the contest to rename the Mobile BayBears once they move to Madison, Alabama, in 2020. One name is in honor of the nearby U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal which employs more than 40,000 people in the area: Army Ants.
Several names are related to the local space industry and NASA’s Marshal Space Flight Center: Comet Jockeys, Lunartics, Space Sloths, Space Chimps (a nod to Miss Baker, “one of the first animals safely launched into space. She is buried on the grounds at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center”), and Puffy Head Bird Legs (reportedly astronaut slang for “body fluid moving from feet to head in outer space due to the lack of gravity”).
The remaining options are related to local weather and animals (as well as a couple also being space-related): GloWorms, Moon Possums, ThunderSharks, and Trash Pandas (also known as racoons).
Voting is open now through August 16 at the future team’s website. Choose wisely, baseball fans. Choose wisely.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around this trade, but at least Baseball America has provided links to their stats (see below). Four of these guys have been assigned to the Bowie Baysox, so I’ll check them out this week and let know you how they do with their new team.
Interestingly, I’d recently seen all these guys, with the exception of Valera. I just didn’t know the importance of what I was seeing at the time. Yusniel Diaz hit two home runs in the All-Star Futures game on July 15, only the second player ever to do so. I was impressed, especially since I’ve been sort of keeping an eye on him since his defection from Cuba in 2015. I’d also seen Kremer, Bannon, and Pop back in June when I went to see the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at the Lake Elsinore Storm. Dean Kremer started that game for the Quakes, the Dodgers’ high-A affiliate in the California League, and was the winning pitcher. Zach Pop came in in the ninth inning and got the save. Bannon went 1-for-5.
Little did I know at the time that soon they’d be Baysox…
Fireworks at the Bowie Baysox
Happy Minor League Baseball Opening Day! Even better than MLB Opening Day, MiLB Opening Day features games in 54 communities across the country. To help you prepare, I’ve organized below some information to answer almost any question you might have about MiLB.
Who will you be rooting for?
MiLB Opening Day Toolkit:
Keyote, Mascot for the Frederick Keys
The day we’ve been waiting for is finally here! MLB Opening Day is today, with all 30 teams scheduled to play.
With zero days left, today we feature No. 0 for the Frederick Keys, their mascot, Keyote. As we counted down the days until Opening Day, we looked at ten players’ charitable activities – but that was only a sample. Each year, both MLB and MiLB, all of their teams, and many of their players, are involved in their communities in a variety of ways, including running charitable foundations. One such effort is Frederick Keys Cares, which was created by the Frederick Keys in 1999 in memory of Joel Stephens, a minor leaguer who succumbed to colon cancer at age 22 in 1998. Also known as the Joel A. Stephens Memorial Fund, the Fund “awards grants to nonprofit organizations serving Frederick County [Maryland] youth or young adults 22 years of age and younger or religious organizations in need of funding for non-sectarian activities benefiting youth activities.”
Go Keys! Go O’s!
I love minor league baseball! So, apparently “Goat Yoga” is a thing. And the Hartford Yard Goats are in on the action! There really are no words that can describe this. You just have to watch the video for yourself. You can check it out in my tweet below.
Earlier this week, the baseball world paid tribute to Home Run Derby, the Bat Dog of the Trenton Thunder who died after a bout with cancer. In memoriam, Ben Hill of milb.com wrote a great piece today on baseball’s bat dogs. The Trenton Thunder announced that they will celebrate Derby Day on January 26th, Derby’s birthday.
Just to cheer us up a little, here is some adorable footage of Gleyber Torres playing with Derby and his son, Rookie:
Thanks for the memories, Derby! May you now get all the dog treats you want!