The new ownership of the Class AA Southern League Biloxi team has launched a name-the-team contest; meanwhile, veteran GM Buck Rogers will be accompanying the franchise to Mississippi.
Rogers is currently GM of the Huntsville Stars, the team moving to Biloxi next season. He was named the 2003 Florida State League Executive of the Year for his work with the Daytona Cubs. He also supervised the Daytona and Brevard County staffs, which garnered four consecutive nominations for the Florida State League’s prestigious Larry MacPhail Award (top promotional staff in Minor League Baseball) from 2002-05.
“Buck’s enthusiasm and passion are contagious,” said team president Ken Young. “The fans and the business community are really going to like Buck because he puts customer service at the top of his list.”
Originally from Neenah, WI, Rogers served 14 years in the US Army Infantry, the majority of which was with the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, NC. He participated in the invasion of Panama (Operation Just Cause) in December 1989, a mission that captured Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.
Rogers is married with two adult daughters. His wife Babs is originally from Gulfport, MS and her parents still live along the Gulf Coast. The couple’s daughters Breann and Holly live in Melbourne (FL) and San Luis Obispo (CA) respectively.
“This is an exciting opportunity,” said Rogers. “It’s like coming home for our family. The Mississippi Gulf Coast has a tradition of working and playing hard. We promise to deliver affordable, family entertainment with a world-class fan experience. We’re extremely honored to be welcomed into the Coast community.”
Rogers will continue to oversee the final season of the Huntsville Stars this year as he begins his tenure as the Biloxi GM.
Speaking of the team name: The contest will consist of two phases, beginning at midnight tonight. During the first phase, fans will be able to submit their suggestions for the new team’s name for approximately three weeks. Nominations can be submitted through the official website of the franchise.
As part of the process, fans will be asked to write a brief description as to why they are suggesting their specific name. “We are looking for creative names that reflect the culture and essence of this community,” Rogers said. “Biloxi will absolutely be a part of the name, but we are looking for a team name that really captures the heart and soul of the entire Gulf Coast community.”
Following the nomination period, the top suggestions will be narrowed to a short list of five finalists. Fans will then be able to vote for their favorite. The date when the final voting will begin is forthcoming.
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