Six team name finalists have been unveiled for a new Joplin, MO club in the upcoming independent Southwest League, marking another step in the team’s development.
Plans have been taking shape for a new Joplin team in the Southwest League, an independent circuit conceived by Mark Schuster and the Ventura Sports Group that is slated to make its debut in 2019. The team will play its home games at Joe Becker Stadium, which will make it the first professional team to use the ballpark since the Joplin Blasters (independent; American Association) ceased operations after the 2016 season.
In February, team officials began the process of asking fans to submit suggestions for the Joplin professional baseball team name. According to team personnel, the team received over 400 submissions since February 7. Those submissions have been narrowed down to the six candidates receiving the most submissions for the team moniker. Below are the choices, along with descriptions:
In the late afternoon of Sunday, May 22, 2011, a catastrophic EF5-rated multiple-vortex tornado struck Joplin. The tornado reached a maximum width of nearly 1 mile during its path through the southern part of the city. The Tornado was unusual in that it intensified in strength and grew larger in size at a very fast rate. The city of Joplin exercised its own strength in rebounding from the massive disaster. Because of that resolve, this name honors those who lost their lives to the twister, and those who survived and flourished in spite of such a powerful, town-changing event.
Nickname for Tornado. Same description as above.
The Joplin Miners took the field as Joplin’s professional minor league team in the 1950’s. This name incorporates Joplin’s strong culture and steep history of mining – the dedicated, tough men who risked their lives every day to provide a means of energy to their region. During this time frame, Mickey Mantle and Whitey Herzog began their legendary baseball careers for the Joplin Miners. They would eventually go on to sustain lengthy careers as one of the best switch-hitters, and one of the best field managers in Major League Baseball history, respectively. These hard-working miners dig for extra base hits, to make catches at the wall, and to play as hard as possible for the fans.
The phoenix is a symbol of re-born idealism and hope. Just like Joplin residents after the tornado of 2011, the Phoenix rose from the ashes with renewed enthusiasm and the potential to fly higher than ever before, with endless possibilities and potential to thrive. The beautiful bird is bold and bright with its colorful, flaming feathers, with the strength to soar above any and all future situations and opponents that it may encounter. The fireballing flyers can get hot in the field and at the plate at any moment.
While Joplin was first settled for Lead mining, Zinc – often referred to as “Jack” – was the most important mineral resource. This essential mineral is the fourth-most common metal. About 70% of the world’s zinc originates from mining – most- commonly used as an anti-corrosive agent. Just as Zinc serves as galvanization for the coating of iron or steel, the “Jacks” will galvanize opponents with their powerful athleticism, pitching prowess, and never-give-up hustle, while entertaining fans in the process. The catchy “Joplin Jacks” will represent the community and the mining industry by shining from the first pitch until the last out is recorded.
Joplin lies along Historic Route 66 – one of the most famous roads in the United States. As one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System, Route 66 was built in 1926, and served as a major path for Americans who migrated west. The vintage pathway offers a visual “welcome sign” to many Americans, a throwback to yesteryear, and a physical connection from one side of the country to the other. Just like the road it is named for, a team with a “66’ers” moniker would connectcommunity, families, children, opponents, and fans alike to baseball in Joplin.
Team officials will announce the winning name in mid-April.
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