Archive for August, 2008

of minor league prophets and their mascot’s lives.

22 August 2008

i’ve been in greensboro for a few days. on tuesday night we attended a class a baseball game between the greensboro grasshoppers (affiliate of the florida marlins) and the greenville drive (affiliate of the boston red sox). the grasshoppers continue a greensboro tradition of namely their sports teams after things, the bats and hornets preceded them, that don’t have much to do with the city. i suppose a team nicknamed the sit-ins or woolworths or magis doesn’t sell as much merchandise.

putting that name aside for a moment, what about their opponent? greenville drive? is that an address or a baseball team? i fully expected a family of nine to take the field (maybe i’ve been watching too much jon & kate plus eight while i’ve been here). alas, it wasn’t to be: no two players were related, unless you’re one of those people that think we are all related, and greenville won 12-6.

interestingly, when charlotte was awarded a baseketball team, the greensboro hornets had been in existence for almost ten years. the change to bats was made a couple of years later after pressure from the bigger city. you may be wondering why all the fuss about a name that isn’t on the surface quintessential north carolina. well, the name comes from a quote from the revolutonary war. british general charles cornwallis remarked that there’s a rebel behind every bush; it’s a veritable nest of hornets regarding the resistance he met in the state. you know i love nothing more than seeing groups of people fight over who has the right to use an obscure quote, but seriously there were better options, especially in the case of charlotte who could have easily been called the charlotte spiders and played their home games at charlotte’s web.

speaking of children, somewhere in this house is a hat from the greensboro bats inaugural game with a logo that was changed soon after that. the hat is purple with a pudgy man dressed in a baseball uniform and wearing a purple cape and, i think, a mask. it wasn’t deemed ferocious enough for a sports team, not even a minor league team. if someone ever cleans out the garage at my parents’ house i’ll take a picture of it for you.

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