We have branding for the newest team in the summer-collegiate Northwoods League: After a name-the-team vote, the Minot Hot Tots begin play at Corbett Field next summer.
A tot, of course, is that most perfect of foods: the tater tot, a key component of a North Dakota staple, tater-tot hotdish. Not only is tater-tot hotdish one of the most popular dishes in North Dakota and church basements across the Upper Midwest, but it is also said that the word hotdish comes from the Norwegian word varmrett, which translates to “warm dish.” Other credit the Grace Lutheran Ladies Aid in Mankato, Minn. for making first reference to hotdish in its 1930 cookbook. In any case, hotdish evokes some pretty strong emotional responses in North Dakota and Minnesota.
“We are all about food, family, fun, and bringing people together,” said Monica Blake, Minot Hot Tots General Manager and Managing Partner, via press release. “It was really important to us to choose a name that fits our values and also ties back to the Minot community. This name accomplished both of those requirements.”
The new team logo, developed by John Worthen of Worthen Design, features a tater-tot cartoon figure holding a baseball bat behind his back, doubling as a serving spoon that has just scooped up some cheesy tater-tot hotdish. The primary team colors are red, blue, and yellow–the same colors as the North Dakota state flag.
“So fitting, a fun name and a name that has significance in the Upper Midwest,” said Jarid Lundeen, local Minot resident and Hot Tots minority owner, via press release. “It’s all about fun and bringing families in the Minot community together for great baseball, but more importantly bringing an element of community and an element of excitement! Love the name, so excited for inaugural season.”
During the event, the team revealed three secondary logos as well. One of those logos features the same tater-tot figure standing in a pan of hotdish that is shaped like home plate. This is a nod to the popular nickname for home plate, the dish.
As noted, the Hot Tots will begin play in 2023 at Corbett Field. The ballpark dates back to 1935 with WPA funding, with the former Minot Municipal Stadium serving as home of American Legion and high-school teams before the arrival of the Minot Mallards of the independent, integrated Manitoba-Dakota (Man-Dak) League in 1950. Satchel Paige played three games as a Mallard during his barnstorming days, and other Negro Leagues stars made appearances there. The Mallards carried over to the Class C Northern League in Minor League Baseball for the 1958-1960 and 1962 seasons. A revived independent Mallards team played for two seasons. Corbett Field also hosts Minot State University baseball and was renovated prior to the 2018 season. The ballpark was voted as the fan favorite in the 2018 Ballpark Digest Best of the Ballparks competition.