I must say, if the enthusiasm for naming our new AA baseball team trickles over to attendance, this team is going to be like watching a Mike Trout at bat - a huge hit.
We are still 21 months away from opening day, so that leaves plenty of time to come up with a nickname for the team.
But not plenty of time to build a stadium, which I will be anxious to see if the thing can be constructed in time because all I see is dirt.
Anyway, in this space two weeks ago, then in my weekly Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down column, I asked you to let me know what you think the name should be.
This names just keep coming in and I have promised to forward them to the owner David G. Elmore and his group. Because I know Elmore is the owner and should be able to run a team as he sees fit, but this name thing is ours to handle and nobody can tell me different.
Because if it’s a sorry nickname, an unpopular name, we are the ones stuck with it for like 20 years. If Elmore and his people don’t use what nickname we decide on, it’s not a good way to a start off a relationship.
Now, the overwhelming theme for the names turned in have something to do with the Texas Panhandle - of course, our weather - and keeping it about our heritage. I like that. So we have a good start.
I personally think the first name should be Amarillo so we could get some decent pub out of it for our city, but some of the nicknames turned in didn’t use Amarillo.
Anyway, whether we hold a contest here at AGN Media with an online and write-in contest, or the chamber of commerce holds their own vote, however we go about settling on a name, I believe we have to have a nickname by next April.
That’s one year out.
That’s time to market hats, jerseys, get a clean logo designed, and get this thing off to a perfect start.
What I didn’t expect from the nicknames was the clever mascots ideas.
For instance, Amarillo native and retired Tascosa wrestling coach Johnny Cobb is a man of boundless enthusiasm and a promoter. He likes the traditional name of Gold Sox we’ve had here in the past but if that’s not going to be used how about Wind Sox.
I like that name.
But I like his idea of one of the mascots being real, like a Yellow (obviously, Amarillo in Spanish) Lab named Rilla from Amarilla. He could be trained to retrieve an occasional foul ball and bring it to the umpire.
I, like the “Cobbster”, think kids would love this.
Enough talk. Let’s get to the nicknames. Because so many names arrived I apologize but can’t report who sent the names.
However, creativity isn’t lacking and they touch all kinds of areas. So here’s a list of what has been turned in and I thank you for participating. It’s been fun.
Here are the nicknames listed alphabetically starting with Amarillo (take a deep breath and go):
A - Aardvarks, Alligators, Allosaurus (yep, a dinosaur), Atomics, Aztecs. B - Bank Robbers, Beavers (“they are nice and hard working), Big Texans, Big Shots, Bells Blades, Bombers, Brawlers, Breeze, Bruisers, Buffaloes. C - Cattlemen, Captains, Chieftains, Chupacabras, City Slickers, Commanders, Cowpokes (named on jersey spelled out using a rope), Cruisers. D - Diablos, Dillas (several people mentioned the popular team name we had for indy ball), Dirt Devils.
E - 806ers, Elm. F - Fangs, Flycatchers. G - Gassers, Generals, Gold Sox, Golden Suns, Grangers, Graziers. H - Hoodlums. L - Lone Stars.
M - Majors.
O - Ospreys.
P - Panhandlers, Pioneers, Polks.
R - Rancheros, Rangers, Rillo Rooters, Rillo Routers, Risenhoover’s (tribute to the late and great radio man Dick Risenhoover), Roughnecks, Ruffians. S - Scrappers, Sidewinders, Sluggers, Sodbusters, Sprinters, Stockmen, Storm, Suns, Sunflower, Sunset, Swingers.
T - Texans, Thunderheads, Tiltrotors, Tormentors, Tornadoes, Tumbleweeds, Turbines, Twisters. W - Wind, Windmills, WindSox, Wizards, Whirlwinds, Wanglers.
Y - Yellow Suns. Other names included Bomb City Badgers, Bomb City Bison, Bomb City Bombers, Bomb City Bearded Dragons, High Plains Drifters, Yellow City Bombers and Yellow City Yaks.
Now, that’s a list of nicknames.
Like I’ve said before, we have to be perfect on this one. We have to hit a homer, no settling for a stand-up triple or line drive single.
Do you see a home run in those nicknames?
We shall soon see.