With the Houston Astros closer to revealing the new name of their Fayetteville franchise, Fatbacks and Woodpeckers look to be the top contenders.
Currently known as the Buies Creek Astros (High A; Carolina League), the Astros-owned club is expected to move into a new downtown Fayetteville ballpark in 2019. The establishment of new branding will coincide with that move, as was indicated when the franchise launched a name-the-team contest earlier this year.
No official announcement on the new name has been made–in fact, one is not expected until later this year–but Fatbacks and Woodpeckers were submitted in applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Separate filings were made with the agency last week, according to The Fayetteville Observer:
In separate filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Oct. 11, Fayetteville Baseball Club LLC logged the two names. Typically, teams will file more than one name option in case problems arise with their preferred choice. Animal names rarely encounter issues, especially when combined with a place name, making “Fayetteville Woodpeckers” a solid Plan B.
The two finalists were culled from a list of five voted on by fans at the Fayetteville Astros team website during the summer. Other candidates included Jumpers, Wood Dogs and Fly Traps. In an informal poll on The Fayetteville Observer website, Jumpers was an overwhelming favorite, outdistancing the others by nearly a 2-to-1 margin.
Fayetteville general manager David Lane said the Astros tentatively plan to unveil the name during the week of Dec. 4. The ceremony is still in the planning stages, but Lane said it was expected to be a party.
The Buies Creek Astros made their Carolina League debut in 2017, playing the season at Campbell University’s Jim Perry Stadium. The team will play there once again in 2018.
RELATED STORIES: Five Final Team Names Announced for New Fayetteville Squad