In Wichita, Kansas, the new Miami Marlins triple-A affiliate has yet to throw a pitch, take a cut, or field a grounder, but the promotional department is in full swing.
Going into the 2018 Pacific Coast League campaign, it had already been announced that the New Orleans Baby Cakes would be playing in their final season before a relocation to Wichita. The 73-65 record posted was the best mark accomplished in their 11 seasons with the Miami Marlins
. Unfortunately, a tough PCL American Southern Division would see the Cakes finish in a distant third place, well out of the playoff picture.
The name of the new club has been a carefully guarded mystery, after a name submission contest announced in January, 2019. Personally, I offered up “Sky Cows” and “Land Sharks” to the pool of possibilities. As to what the team is going by today….
Earlier today, the Wichita Triple-A ball club rechristened as the Wichita Doo-Dahs from their previous nickname of the Wichita Linemen. Prior to that, they were the Wichita 29ers, after having started out as the Wichita River Riders.
River Riders referred to trade on the Arkansas River, immediately northwest of downtown Wichita. The 29ers refers to the city’s history as the unofficial “Air Capital of the World.” Lineman probably got its notoriety by the Glen Campbell composition, “Wichita Linemen,” which peaked at number three on Billboard’s Hot 100 on January 11th, 1969. “Doo Dahs” apparently refers to yet another nickname for Wichita, KS. The origin of the moniker is unknown, but perhaps it references the laid-back, whimsical attitude felt by some visitors to the city – according to Urban Dictionary.
The promotion will see another new name in two more weeks, then another, then another until the official nickname will finally be announced in November. The fourth of seven possiblities, it’s unclear if the final choice will be one of the seven, or an eighth that will not have been yet publicized.
"Essentially what will happen is that we will change our identity to another possible identity leading up to the unveil. So, a little bit different than in the past when we throw six names out there. – Bob Moullette, assistant GM, as originally reported by KWCH 12"
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The whole thing is a unique spin on a time-tested tradition of minor-league ball club nickname selection. I thought I had seen it all, but this is something new. Like them or hate them, the nickname possibilities demand your attention now that it’s all over but the crying at the major league level for these Miami Marlins.
Groundbreaking on the new ballpark started in March of this season, with a deadline of 2020 Opening Day, April 14th, as the targeted date of completion. With roughly 6,000 conventional seats, capacity rises to near 10,000 when all accommodations are considered.
What’s your favorite so far? Do you have a better idea than the four listed so far? Only the ballclub knows all the answers, and their keeping their cards close to the vest.
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