North Carolina has long been home to strange minor league team names, with the Carolina Mudcats and the Hickory Crawdads.
But it looks like Fayetteville is about to take the crown.
The Top 5 choices for its new minor league baseball team include the Fatbacks and the Fly Traps – as in the Venus Fly Traps that catch and eat flies. The other finalists include the Wood Dogs, Woodpeckers and the Jumpers (a reference to the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg).
Fatback, for the unschooled, is derived from the fat of pigs and is used a lot Southern cuisine. If chosen, the teams mascot could be a pig...or a sandwich.
The winning name will become the team’s moniker in 2019, when the Houston Astros farm team moves from its current home in Buies Creek into a new stadium in downtown Fayetteville, it was reported.
Fans reportedly reacted with a combination of amazement and amusement when the five were announced, reports the Fayetteville Observer.
“Fatbacks? Really,” said Debbie Brown told the Observer. “I can’t say any are great, but ... Fatbacks?”
The finalists were announced Friday by Fayetteville Baseball Club LLC, and they were culled from 1,400 suggestions, it was reported. Team officials with the Houston Astros and their Fayetteville-Buies Creek affiliate picked the finalists, The Fayetteville Observer reported.
Votes for the winning name can be cast online at fayettevilleastros.com or by mail to Name The Team Contest, 101 Hay St., Fayetteville, NC 28301. Voting deadline is July 3, the Observer reported.
Sports Illustrated has a list of the strangest minor league baseball team games, including: The Leigh Valley Iron Pigs, the Wichita Wingnuts, the Traverse City Beach Bums, the Normal CornBelters, Topeka Train Robbers, Montgomery Biscuits, Hartford Yard Goats and Batavia Muck Dogs.