The "Carousel Capital of the World" is now officially home to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, the freshly-minted Double-A affiliate of the New York Mets. The new team identity was revealed on Thursday in a ceremony attended by 700 students, teachers and administrators at local Benjamin Franklin Elementary School.
"The completion of the project signifies the beginning of a new era for the team in Binghamton," said team president John Hughes. "This is only the first step towards a bright future the team shares with the community. We look forward to the long and fun-filled journey as the Double-A Affiliate of the New York Mets playing in Binghamton."
Nearly a century ago, local businessman and philanthropist George F. Johnson commissioned and funded the construction of six carousels to be enjoyed free-of-charge by the public throughout the Binghamton area. Almost 100 years later, these cherished artifacts continue to be used and beloved by the community.
The winning name submission came from Nicole, of Binghamton. Her inspiration for Rumble Ponies came from "The Carousel," a children's book written by Binghamton University professor Liz Rosenberg about carousel horses that sleep in the winter, but come to life in the spring. Nicole was awarded season tickets for life and the first home jersey produced for winning the Name the Team Contest.
"When I rode the carousels as a child every summer, I imagined they were wild stallions or untamed ponies," said Nicole. "Now as a mother I watch my young sons do the same. The book illustrates the concept of every child's imagination of what these horses truly are. These carousels of the Triple Cities were put here by men of industry from our local history for the community to enjoy, just like baseball."
"Using a local author's work as her lead, Nicole has helped shape the future of Minor League Baseball in Binghamton while paying homage to the past," Hughes said. "That speaks volumes about the strength and spirit of the people of the Southern Tier."
An armored, white horse with a flame mane jumping free of the carousel is the centerpiece of the identity. The "Rumble Ponies" lettering is formed in classic carousel style. The road cap logo is a broken silver carousel pole in the shape of a "B." Another broken pole logo forms an "NY," celebrating New York State. A patch with an anthropomorphic carousel horse sporting boxing gloves will be worn on the jersey sleeves.
Carousel Silver, Fire Red and Binghamton Blue make up the club's new official colors, paying tribute to Binghamton's carousel heritage.
"The pride, passion and strong fighting spirit are proudly reflected in the logos," explained Hughes. "Most importantly, for the first time in a long time, the team will play with the words "Binghamton" proudly displayed on the front of the jerseys. We will respectfully display the spirit of Binghamton and the entire Southern Tier throughout the Eastern League."
The Rumble Ponies will continue the rich history of professional baseball in Binghamton in 2017. It will mark the 103rd pro season of baseball in the Southern Tier and the 26th straight at the Double-A level. The Rumble Ponies join the Crickets, Bingoes, Triplets and Mets as caretakers of America's pastime in Binghamton.
"With the new name and identity we add another building block to the great tradition and legacy of professional baseball in Binghamton," said Hughes.
The Rumble Ponies will unveil their new uniforms for the 2017 season at a later date.
Merchandise featuring the Rumble Ponies new look is available now at the ballpark and online at www.BingRP.com. The team store at NYSEG Stadium will be open until 5 PM on Thursday, from 9 AM to 5 PM on Friday and from 10 AM to 2 PM on Saturday.
Be sure to follow the Rumble Ponies on Facebook (facebook.com/RumblePonies) on Twitter (@RumblePoniesBB), and at the team's official website (BingRP.com) for more team information.
The Rumble Ponies open the 2017 season on the road in New Hampshire on April 6 before celebrating their home opener at NYSEG Stadium on April 13. Tickets for the 2017 season will go on sale soon.