We have a name for the new Waco-area independent league team: the Waco BlueCats. The BlueCats will begin play at a new ballpark in Bellmead, TX in 2018, as members of the upstart Southwest League.
The name BlueCats was chosen from a name the team contest that yielded more than 18,000 submissions.
The Brazos River is synonymous with Waco and Blue Cats are highly sought after on the Brazos River. They are also the largest species of North American Catfish. Blue Cats are often confused with Channel Catfish, but the preferred choice of many Wacoans when fishing the banks of the Brazos River or traveling up and down its waters. Blue Cats are heavy bodied, blue-ish gray in color, have barbels, a dorsal hump, a deeply forked tail, and an intimidating, protruding upper jaw. These finned swimmers are opportunistic predators and eat any species of fish they can catch, along with crawfish, freshwater mussels, frogs, and other readily available aquatic food sources. The fish are also considered to be an invasive pest – especially to those that stand between them and a Southwest Baseball League Championship!
The winning name was submitted by Steve Fischer who won season tickets for life from the BlueCats. “I am just so thrilled that Wacoans thought the name would be a great representation of the Waco market,” stated Fischer. “Naming professional baseball teams must run in my blood. My grandfather, Bill Neder of Houston, won a name the team contest when he successfully submitted the “Houston Colt 45’s” prior to the 1962 season, stated Fischer.” The Colt 45’s played three seasons before being renamed the Houston Astros.
“We love the name and the logo”, stated Mark Schuster, SWL President. “The chosen name met all three criteria for selection including the name having some tie to the Waco market, the nickname being unique to professional baseball team names and it’s a name that kids will embrace.” “We’re thrilled to have the community so engaged in the process of choosing the name after a 60-year absence of professional baseball”, stated Stan Hough, BlueCats Field Manager.
The home uniforms feature the colorful and dynamic BlueCat mascot forming the “C” on the white jerseys with blue piping. The graphic is slanted to provide optimum coverage across the chest of the jersey, and also give the top a unique, eye-catching appearance. The player number on the back of the jersey coordinate with the new, custom number set for the team, that works well with the team Word Mark. The home caps are solid black, but with brightly-colored eyelets, and an alternate “BC” adorning the crown of the cap – again with the “C” formed by the swimming sensation – the BlueCats mascot.
The road uniforms are a complete “flip” of the home models. The dark great body with blue piping sets the stage for custom “WACO” lettering to “pop” on the jersey – which also introduces a Treble Hook – the popular way to “hook” a Blue Catfish – that forms the shape of a “W” in the name across the chest of the jersey, and when it appears self-standing on the crown of the black cap with dark grey bill and oppose the fish graphic which has been moved to the backs of the caps. The bold, custom numbers continue their parade on the backs of the jerseys and maintain the consistency of the brand on what this franchise wears.
The Sunday uniform tops pick up the pace of color among the trio that is being unveiled with this announcement. They are bright blue out of the gate, with athletic gold piping, and a “reduced” version of the Primary Mark/home jerseys – in which the fish and “CATS” remain as before, but add “Blue” above the nickname and mascot to form a strong left-chest arrangement and placement. The caps are also manufactured in the same blue color as the jersey, have a Treble Hook “W” on the back of the headwear, and showcase a very bold and unique “BC” letters that each flank a fish’s tail. The black bill of the cap offers a very contrasting element to the cap’s overall appearance.
In October, team officials narrowed down the list to just five (5) names from over 700 submitted. Those names were Woolies, Mammoths, Peppers, Grackles and BlueCats. Since the announcement of the team name finalists, over 1,800 people submitted their choice for the team moniker.
The team coloring and branding was created by Beam Team Design and its creator, Alan Beam. Beam Team Design is a Dallas-Fort Worth-based design firm that specializes in branding, logos, and graphic design. BTD has worked with many corporate, educational and athletic clients – supplying them with customized designs that were created via complete, thorough creative process. The project results are well-received designs that generate excitement and revenue. From the Fort Worth Cats Baseball Club to the Dallas Baptist University (DBU) Athletic Department, BTD has given clients what they want and need with fantastic dividends.
The new Waco team will play in The Ballpark at Bellmead, a new $11MM stadium located just off Interstate 35 near Loop 340 in Bellmead, TX. The stadium will feature seating capacity for baseball of 4,000.