The Richmond Flying Squirrels (Class AA; Eastern League) unveiled their new acorn-inspired mascot Zinger, as the inflatable acorn will join the face of the franchise, Nutzy, in all aspects of fan entertainment and community involvement going forward.
The name Zinger was chosen by fans in overwhelming fashion from five finalists in an online vote conducted on both SquirrelsBaseball.com and TimesDispatch.com. The winning name received 60% of nearly 3,000 online votes to become the newest signature mascot of the second-year franchise. The always smiling acorn arrived in style during Thursday’s event, greeted enthusiastically upon his announcement by Nutzy and other familiar ballpark characters.
“Zinger is a great addition to our baseball family,” said Flying Squirrels’ Director of Media and Event Coordinator Anthony Oppermann. “We have seen how popular Nutzy has become in the community, and we thought it fitting that he have a jovial friend that could help spread the funn around. We continue to be all about building the characters for fans, and today was a great event in that aim.”
The Flying Squirrels also celebrated the winners of their second annual community art contest, which featured the theme “Nutzy is my superhero because…” The team chose 15 winners from entries received from schools throughout the region. Those winners were honored during Thursday’s ceremony, including having their artwork displayed on the stage of Theatre IV. Their artwork will also be displayed on suite panels at The Diamond during the 2011 season.
“We received countless wonderful submissions again this year,” said Flying Squirrels’ Director of Community Relations Christina Shisler. “It has been great to see the enthusiasm for the arts and baseball from the youth of the community. We’re thrilled that we can reward the students hard work by showcasing their art.”
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