The debate over the name of the Boston Red Sox Triple A team continues. Voting ends a week from today. You can cast your vote at PolarPark.com. I have made no secret about my vote for WooSox. I have left myself open to other names and based on what appears to be a dislike of the name WooSox by the PawSox ownership I've begun to mentally prepare myself for an alternate name.
Now it's only natural when talking about a name of a team to think also about a potential mascot for the team. Minor league baseball is full of great ones. A great mascot is also a way for kids to get excited for the team as well as potential marketing ideas and merchandise. I have a short list of some of the names that keep coming up and what may be a mascot associated with the name,
1. The Worcester Polar Bears
I feel this name is looking like the odds on favorite at this time. There are many reasons for this. The most obvious is that the team will be playing a Polar Park. You could have a running theme throughout the park off the polar theme. Also, in terms of minor league teams it's unique. There are no other teams in baseball with the name Polar Bears. It could also be a subtle hat tip to the Pawtucket Red Sox who had Polar Bears as their mascot. The PawSox on Tuesdays during the 2018 season were named Osos Polares de Pawtucket, which translates to the Pawtucket Polar Bears. We also can't forget that for years the New England Science Center, now known as the EcoTarium, in Worcester was where Kendra the Polar Bear was born. What would the potential mascot look like? Well, you have a couple of options.
This is Orson and he's the Polar Beverages mascot. This seems like a pretty obvious choice. He's cute and cuddly and nothing like an actual polar bear, but everything you would want in a mascot.
I think if they do decide to go with Polar Bears they should use the current PawSox mascots, Paws and Sox. I've said many times that the Worcester Red Sox should go into full rebranding mode, but I do feel bad for the hardcore PawSox fans who have followed the team all of these years so keeping Paws and Sox would be a nice tribute to their former home.
2. Worcester Rockets
Robert Goddard the father of modern rocketry is from Auburn where the high school uses the name Rockets. This makes sense for Auburn, but Worcester Rockets sounds too generic to me.
I suppose you would have to have an astronaut as your mascot if you were the Worcester Rockets. This one is a little scary, but some form of this would do.
I would actually choose a rocket scientist over and astronaut as a mascot. This is Simon and he's sure to be a "hit" at The Igloo. These guys do all the hard work and the astronauts get all the glory, Also, Goddard was a rocket scientist and not an astronaut. This guy might be tough to sell in plush form, but would certainly be unique.
3. The Worcester Worms
We're in Wormtown right? Why not the worms? There are certainly no other teams in minor league baseball called the worms. Might be hard to sell this doll too, but who would have thought poop emoji dolls would be a hit?
Can't you just picture "Wendy the Worm' standing outside Polar Park greeting fans. No? Me either. Matt Vautour from Mass Live came up with the name "Worcester Night Crawlers" as a variation on worm. (https://www.masslive.com/expo/sports/erry-2018/08/1acad2d0333284/worcester-red-sox-dont-call-th.html)
Still not sure I could embrace this one.
4. Worcester Candlepins
Another name I've been hearing gaining steam. I first saw this proposed in that same Mass Live article, which claims candlepin bowling was invented in Worcester. This is the kind of name that I am fearing the most. Somebody trying to be too cute and we are left with a name that would be a great fit for my fantasy football team and not our professional baseball team.
Hey kids, meet "Pinhead"! Go Candlepins!
5. Worcester Ruby Legs
There is a debate among local baseball historians about the name of the Worcester professional baseball team that played in the National League from 1880-1882. Most of the local papers from the time refer to them as the "Worcester Worcesters" and we don't seem to see the name "Ruby Legs" to refer to the team until years after the team folded. My favorite baseball website, baseball-reference.com refers to them as the "Ruby Legs" so that's good enough for me. I'm a bit of a history geek so I actually wouldn't hate this one, but a mascot for the Ruby Legs might be a little tough.
This is Ruby. Yes folks he has ruby legs. (See what I did there?) He may even be part polar bear, but we can't confirm it.
6. The Worcester Smiles
Everyone from Worcester knows the story. Harvey Ball created the smiley face that we all know and love. It's a great story, but naming the team the Smiles or any form of that seems a little forced. There is certainly somewhere in the park where we might be able to pay tribute to Mr. Ball, but let's not name the team the Smiles.
"Happy" definitely looks like he's ready to party, but I rather not see him roaming the stands at Polar Park.
7. The WooSox
I'm a big fan of symmetry so this is why the name needs to be WooSox. The team needs to capitalize on the Red Sox name. You're going to sell many more hats, shirts, and other gear with those red sox as part of the logo/name. Worcester is "The Woo". I can hear crowds chanting "Woo, Woo, Woo!" The park could have a Royal WOOters section. A play on the old Royal Rooters of the song "Tessie" fame. Also, WooSox is six characters. It flows off the tongue and looks nice in a headline. As others have stated, so many people have referred to the team as the WooSox that it will take some time for a new name to stick. I suppose we have some time, but they'll always be the WooSox to me. Now what to do about that mascot.
You might think this is a poorly photoshopped picture of Wally, but if you look closer you'll see it's his little brother, Casey! Why Casey? Well, "Casey At the Bat" was written on Chatham Street in Worcester so what better way to pay tribute to Worcester's baseball history than to name the mascot after the iconic poem? The WooSox in a way are the little brothers to the Boston Red Sox so let's just keep it in the family.