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Triple-A Yankees poach a Revolution employee, roll out finalists for new name

The Revolution suffered a front office defection a few days back when Client Services Coordinator Karen Luciano left the club for a similar position with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in the Triple-A International League.  The Yankees top farm club, after spending this season on a 142-game road trip, will move back into freshly-renovated PNC Field for next season.  Their “home base” for this season was league rival Rochester’s Frontier Field, where they played a bunch of their “home games” and temporarily re-branded as the “Empire State Yankees.”

So good for Karen, and she’ll have tons of fun over the next six months ordering brand new signage for what basically amounts to a brand new ballpark.  Pretty cool.  Adding to all those fresh signs is a total re-branding effort by SWB, who will still be affiliated with the Yankees, but will no longer be called that.  Apparently “Yankees” as a nickname has alienated a few Phillies fans in the greater Scranton area.  Go figure on that one.

SWB rolled out finalists for their new moniker this week to be voted on by fans, which stirred up good memories of when “Revolution” beat out such competitors as “Choppers, Dukes and Steel Horses.”  Not a bad bunch, but I’m glad Revolution won.  Below and after the jump are the names and explanations for our soon-to-be-renamed Pennsylvania neighbors to the north, taken from the official team release.  My comments on each are in bold.

For SWB, this will be their third name since 2007.  Phillies fans will remember that prior to their top farm club becoming the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons were a Phillies affiliate for years until the franchise went to the Yankees after the 2006 season.

Blast
The Blast combines the over-the-top fun of MiLB with the tough miners who unearth coal to fuel America’s industrial revolution. It’s also the sound of the Yankees of tomorrow blasting home runs in front of a packed house at PNC Field.
This sounds like a name a WNBA team would choose.  And I’m not anti-women’s basketball.  I’m anti team names that are verbs.  “Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Blast” also sounds like a minor league soccer franchise.  I’d be shocked if this won, I think you’ll like the all the remaining names on the list a lot better.  

Black Diamond Bears
Paying homage of the rich coal mining history of the SWB area combined with the ferociousness of the black bear, no one will want to mess with them on the field. The natural setting of PNC Field will be the perfect den for the Black Diamond Bears.
Cool, but I think we need to draw the line at “Southern Maryland Blue Crabs” in the pantheon of long team names.  If this is chosen, “Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Black Diamond Bears” would obliterate Southern Maryland Blue Crabs for the longest name in pro baseball; yes I’ve researched it and SOMD is longest.  Since I know you’re wondering what the shortest name is, it’s “Iowa Cubs.”

Fireflies
Watch the Fireflies light up the night sky at PNC Field in 2013. The state insect of Pennsylvania is a sure sign of summer time in NEPA. Families will have a glowing good time at the ballpark!
This isn’t very intimidating, however – I’m envisioning a cool logo with a bug that suddenly lights up that would be awesome on the website, videoboard and glow-in-the-dark hats and t-shirts.  I’m a big fan of the Sugar Land Skeeters cartoon bug logo, so there’s no doubt it has potential, but I’m still voting no.  But at least now I know what Pennsylvania’s state insect is.

RailRiders
All aboard! We’re not just blowing steam with this one. The SWB express isn’t your ordinary ride on the rails. We’ll be charting our own course as we speed our way into the minds and hearts of NEPA baseball fans. Kids can join the Lil’ Conductors Club or you can shop for your favorite team gear at the Station.
It’s hard to go wrong highlighting Pennsylvania’s industrial heritage and culture. Revolution (the industrial one), Iron Pigs, the Williamsport Crosscutters (lumberjack mascot), it all works.  This would be a solid choice.  It might be a challenge to develop a unique logo as two other PA teams, the Altoona Curve and Reading Phillies already have a railroad theme in their identity.  

Porcupines
This tough as “Quills” animal is a renegade native to Northeast Pennsylvania. The fighting, resilient spirit of the porcupine is the same spirit indicative to our area. With Pulled Porky-Pine Sandwiches, fans are sure enjoy the fun, creative nature that only Minor League Baseball can bring to the community.
I love animated animal logos, and this choice would definitely satisfy that indefinable charm a minor league baseball team name can bring to a franchise.  (See Flying Squirrels, Richmond.)  I have just one question…what will the mascot look like and what will it be like to hug him?  

Trolley Frogs
Known as the “Electric City,” Scranton is home of America’s very first electric trolley car. A trolley frog is not only a mechanical part of a trolley, it takes us into a creative world of frogs, lily pads and snapping tongues.
Pay the man, Shirley.  We have a winner as far as I’m concerned.  But as long as it’s not Blast, Black Diamond Bears or Fireflies, I’ll be happy with my favorite team’s Triple-A affiliate.  Yes, I’m a Yankee fan.  I also work for the Revolution, so hey, I like a winner.

-Paul Braverman

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One response

  1. Ron McClain

    Good luck Karen!!! Kathy & I will really miss you!!

    August 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm

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