After receiving more than 600 fan submissions over several weeks, six finalists have been revealed for the "Name the Team" contest for the Class A Advanced Brevard County Manatees, who are planning a move to Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Florida, for the 2017 season.
"We are humbled by the response from the Central Florida community," said team president Joe Harrington, who noted that the site name for the new team will simply be "Florida." "In true Minor League Baseball fashion, the top six finalists reflect not only the creativity of our fans but also the diverse community in which our team will live, work and play."
In alphabetical order, the six finalists are (descriptions are lightly edited from the club's press release):
Known for their resilience and fighting spirit, a name among the likes of these prehistoric Florida insects falls in line with other wacky names in Minor League Baseball.
Florida Fire Frogs
Going head-to-head with our coqui is not for the faint of heart. These fiery frogs are sure to bring the Florida heat to the opposition and will be sure to leave our fans hopping for more.
Florida Mud Kickers
In a nod to Osceola's strong heritage, the Florida Mud Kickers will help preserve two great American traditions -- baseball and rodeo. Saddle up and let's play ball!
Florida Rodeo Clowns
The Rodeo Clowns commemorate the world famous Silver Spurs Rodeo. So grab your hat and boots and join the team for an experience more fun than a barrel of Rodeo Clowns.
The Florida Sorcerers speak to the region's strong entertainment industry. Fans can expect an enchanted ballpark where the mystical forces of good and evil come to life.
The Florida Toucans celebrate the area's tropical climate that the world "flocks" to (more than 66 million visitors a year in fact!). Imagine steel drum bands, tropical shirts and an umbrella in your favorite ballpark drink.
Fans can vote at probaseballbackincentralflorida.com through Aug. 18, with the winning entry to be revealed in late August.
"These six names are representative of community suggestions submitted earlier in July," said Harrington. "Many factors go into the decision to select a team name, but the main considerations are local significance, trademark ability, family appeal and community input."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.