GREENEVILLE, TN- On Friday morning, all the Tusculum View Elementary School students gathered at their weekly school assembly as usual. However, on this day, the Greeneville Astros front office staff was there for a very special occasion, to unveil their new mascot and to recognize an eleven-year-old student at the school, Toby Crabtree, for winning their "Name/Color the Mascot" contest.
With Toby's suggestion, the new Greeneville Astros' lovable new mascot is named Gizmo. He is a furry neon-orange creature of the Homerunus Magnificentus species that hails from The Great Bullpens of the Grand Slam Galaxy in outer space. He sports a Greeneville Astros jersey and hat with baseball antennas extending above his head. The jersey has a patch on the sleeve featuring Takoma Regional Hospital. He is said to be the cousin of Orbit, the Houston Astros' green mascot with a similar look.
"We are so excited to introduce Gizmo at Tusculum View Elementary where the faculty and staff have been outstanding in helping us arrange this event," said general manager David Lane. "We are also proud to partner with Takoma Regional Hospital in presenting Gizmo to all of Greeneville and look forward to having him at several community events throughout the year as well as entertaining Astros fans at Pioneer Park during the summer."
In January, the Astros announced the "Name/Color the Mascot" contest would involve local students and take place in each of the fifteen Greeneville City and Greene County elementary schools. The students were given a contest entry form with a drawing of the space-themed mascot for them to color and suggest a name. By the conclusion of the contest, there were nearly 350 official submissions. However, Toby's entry of an orange mascot with the name Gizmo became the overwhelming choice, but the most exciting part was he had no idea he won until the Astros' announcement at his school.
The announcement began with Greeneville Astros staff member Kelsey Thompson on the microphone thanking all the students for their participation. Then, with the help of the elementary school students, there was a space shuttle-style countdown to Gizmo bursting through from behind the stage curtains to the delight of the crowd. With space music blaring, he proceeded down to the students and gave high-fives through each grade level. Then, when he came upon Toby, he brought him back up to the stage to be recognized.
For winning the contest, it was announced that Toby would receive a free membership in Gizmo's brand new Cosmic Kids Club. The membership includes, among other things, free admission and free food at Monday games, a membership T-shirt, and a private autograph session and pizza/ice cream party with the entire Astros team provided by Pizza Inn and Dairy Queen. In addition, he will also get the opportunity to be on the field right before the Astros game on Opening Day, June 19th, for the ceremonial first pitch to start the Astros' season.
The Astros' staff and Gizmo also promised brand new Gizmo baseball cards to all the students at the school. The cards feature Gizmo's baseball photo on the front along with some fun bio information on the back such as his height being "taller than most of his friends", his weight "depends on what's for lunch", and his favorite colors being "blue and orange, but he really loves orange."
Gizmo will be very active at community events and will be available for appearances. For more information on Gizmo, visit www.greenevilleastros.com and follow him on www.facebook.com/GvilleAstrosGizmo, www.twitter.com/GizmoAstros, and www.instagram.com/GizmoAstros. To request an appearance by Gizmo, call the Astros at (423) 638-0411.
The Greeneville Astros are the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. Full season, half-season, and firework mini-plan memberships are now available for purchase at the Astros Administrative office located at Pioneer Park on the campus of Tusculum College. The office is open Monday-Friday from 9:00am-5:30pm.
For more information on the Astros, call (423) 638-0411 or visit www.greenevilleastros.com. For all the latest news and updates, follow the Astros on www.facebook.com/GvilleAstros and www.twitter.com/GvilleAstros.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.