The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp wasn’t the only team to unveil its new name today. The Texas Rangers A Advanced affiliate in Kinston NC, previously known as the High Desert Mavericks, did the same. After a name the team contest fans could choose from five names: Hogzillas, HamHawks, Eagles, Shaggers and Wood Ducks. Most of the fans chose the latter.
So the team will now be named Down East Wood Ducks. Down East refers to the coastal plains region of North Carolina, where the club hopes to get a lot of fans from. Wood Ducks are a local breed of colorful ducks. The new logo will be unveiled on November 30 and it is designed by , who else than Brandiose from San Diego.
Wade Howell, the team’s general manager said that the purpose of the name Down East is not to ignore Kinston; it’s to pull people in. “We want more and more people to feel included, to think ‘This is my team now.’ And we want those people to come to Kinston, to stay in its hotels and eat in its restaurants. We want to be a part of a weekend in Kinston, which has become a destination and not just a place to pass through.” He continued, “And when you think ‘Down East,’ you think of the beach and a fun, family environment. That’s what goes on with us at a baseball game. So there’s a lot of connection there to the Down East tradition.”
The Wood Ducks will play in historic Grainger Stadium. The stadium opened its doors in 1949 and was last used for minor league baseball in 2011 when the Kinston Indians left for Zebulon NC to become the Carolina Mudcats.