With the Appalachian League becoming a collegiate wood bat league all of its teams that were named after their parent club announced to change their moniker. The Danville Braves are the first to take action on this.
The Appalachian League was kicked out of minor league baseball by MLB to keep the costs of developing the players low. In this way, MLB teams can still have a look at talented players without having to pay for them. As a result, the names of the Appy League teams do not really make sense anymore. All teams were named after the parent club. This is about to change.
The Danville Braves grabbed the bull by the horns and announced a name the team contest today. On their website the following text could be read:
“As we usher in the new era of the Appalachian League, we get to enter into the new future of Danville Baseball. A future filled with excitement, energy, and once in a lifetime experiences. This new Danville Identity needs to match that vision, and the name on our jerseys will do just that.
Danville, Virginia is a baseball town. This city has always embraced their team. Now, it’s time to create an identity that embraces our city, its history, and its fans. One that Danville and Pittsylvania County can proudly stand with. To do this, we want to hear from YOU. If you have an outlandish idea for a name that can embodies our community’s values, tell us! If you have a traditional name that embraces our history, tell us! If you just want to let us know how excited you are that Danville Baseball will be BACK in 2021, TELL US! This is YOUR team.”
The Danville Braves saw light in 1993. The team won two Appy League championships (2006 and 2009), both times against the Elizabethton Twins, one of the winningest teams in the Appalachian League.
Regarding the new name of the team, one could dig into the baseball history of Danville, Virginia. Before the Braves, Danville had episodes of professional baseball. The teams were called the Tobacconists and Leafs. The name Leafs refers to the many tobacco leaf markets that were located in Danville. So that name would be very fitting as it is is an important part of history of the city.
When digging into the regular history of Danville, one could refer to the strategic location the city had on the Richmond and Danville Railroad and the Atlantic and Danville Railway. The name Railroaders comes to mind but any reference to the railroad history is a fine one. Danville is located at the Dan River, so that could be used as well. Something like Danville Dans. Since the textile industry was also a large part of the Danville life, one could think of Danville Mills as well.
As said before, Danville is the first of ten teams to start the process for a name change. Since the Appy League season will start on June 3rd, the other teams have a little bit less than half a year to change their name.