“It’s the name on the front of the jersey that matters most, not the one on the back” ~ Joe Paterno
The Minor League Baseball world has been set ablaze this week with the announcements of new team names and logos. Most notable to our area is the rebranding of the AA Indians Affiliate Akron Aero’s to the Akron Rubber Ducks. The community as well as the industry has been very vocal about the name change, and it got me thinking, what’s really in a name?
If you’re a girl in your mid twenties like I am, you have probably thought about what you want to name your future children. When it actually comes time to pick a name you may pour over baby name books, write out different monograms, or practice saying the name over a PA system. With some of the bizarre names in Minor League Baseball it’s easy to wonder, do teams spend as much time and thought agonizing over a team name? To answer simply: no. They spend a whole lot more.
In sports, a name is more then simply what you call a team, it’s an identity for a fan base and for players to latch on to and identify with. A team name should pay tribute to the history and culture of the area as well as embody the attitude the team hopes to exhibit.
So what does it mean to be a Scrapper?
Thesarus.com gives twenty-six synonyms for the word “scrappy” but what comes to my mind is the concept of doing whatever it takes to win. When a person is “scrappy” they are often an underdog fighting their way to succeed. Baseball is, at its core, all about scrappiness. It’s about a batter fouling off pitches to stay alive or attempting diving catches for foul balls. Is there anything more scrappy then bunting for a base hit? Now-a-days flashy plays make web gems but scrappy players win games.
The concept of being scrappy has regional ties to the Mahoning Valley as well. Though the industry has somewhat faded, the area is historically known for producing steel metal. The name “Scrappers” not only identifies with the industry but also of the tough, resilient, never back down nature often associated with the people of Northeast Ohio. There is a sense of pride with being scrappy, and this team is very proud to be to represent Mahoning Valley and everything it stands for.