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New for 2017: Down East Wood Ducks

Wood Ducks Coming Soon

The name of Kinston, NC’s new High-A Carolina League franchise will be the Down East Wood Ducks. Wood Ducks was selected from a recent name the team contest; logos will be revealed at a later date.

The Wood Ducks will begin play next season at Grainger Stadium. They are owned by the Texas Rangers.

“We received a lot of great input as we considered the nickname for the new ballclub,” commented Rangers Kinston LLC President Joe Januszewski. “The response from the fans in the region was overwhelming, and we thank them for their passion and support. We look forward to working with folks throughout the region to make the Down East Wood Ducks the best franchise in the Carolina League.”

Following the August 22, 2016 announcement that the Rangers had entered into an agreement to purchase controlling interest from Minor League Baseball in the new club, a Name the Team initiative was launched at From the more than 1300 submissions received, five finalists for the team nickname were announced on September 15.

Fan voting was a part of the criteria used for the final selection, which was also based on regional relevance, marketability, the ability to trademark the name, and family fun. What follows is a description of the team’s new name:

Down East Wood Ducks – Also known as “woodies,” these colorful local waterfowl and a favorite among local hunters and boast some of the sharpest claws among all ducks. Less than 24 hours after hatching, these gutsy ducklings make a long and unassisted jump out of their nest high above the ground. Look for this team to make equally plucky plays on the field.

The Rangers previously announced in September the official name of the franchise will be Down East to reflect the regional market for the new team.

“While the new team will call the great City of Kinston home, we feel that Down East is a very appropriate name,” said Wood Ducks General Manager Wade Howell. “Down East reflects the geographic diversity of the fans while giving a nod to the many vibrant communities the team will serve.”

“Kinston joins with the entire Down East region of North Carolina to welcome the Texas Rangers and professional baseball back to our community,” said City of Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy. “The Rangers have shown their commitment to our region in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew by generously donating financial resources to help our flood victims get back on their feet. Looking forward, I simply can’t wait for the ballpark’s lights to be on, to see the kids in Wood Ducks jerseys, and to smell fresh concessions in the air.”

The Rangers are working with Brandiose, the San Diego- based marketing agency which has created brands for a number of Minor League Baseball clubs, to develop the Wood Ducks’ logo and uniforms. Expected launch for the new team marks is the end of November. An updated version of the team website can now be found at, and ticket information will be added to the site in the coming weeks.

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