RICHMOND, VA - In a rollicking event at Theatre IV on Thursday afternoon, the Richmond Flying Squirrels unveiled their new acorn-inspired mascot Zinger. The inflatable acorn will join the face of the franchise, Nutzy, in all aspects of fan entertainment and community involvement going forward.
The name Zinger was chosen by fans in overwhelming fashion from five finalists in an online vote conducted on both SquirrelsBaseball.com and TimesDispatch.com. The winning name received 60% of nearly 3,000 online votes to become the newest signature mascot of the second-year franchise. The always smiling acorn arrived in style during Thursday's event, greeted enthusiastically upon his announcement by Nutzy and other familiar ballpark characters.
"Zinger is a great addition to our baseball family," said Flying Squirrels' Director of Media and Event Coordinator Anthony Oppermann. "We have seen how popular Nutzy has become in the community, and we thought it fitting that he have a jovial friend that could help spread the funn around. We continue to be all about building the characters for fans, and today was a great event in that aim."
The Flying Squirrels also celebrated the winners of their second annual community art contest, which featured the theme "Nutzy is my superhero because..." The team chose 15 winners from entries received from schools throughout the region. Those winners were honored during Thursday's ceremony, including having their artwork displayed on the stage of Theatre IV. Their artwork will also be displayed on suite panels at The Diamond during the 2011 season.
"We received countless wonderful submissions again this year," said Flying Squirrels' Director of Community Relations Christina Shisler. "It has been great to see the enthusiasm for the arts and baseball from the youth of the community. We're thrilled that we can reward the students hard work by showcasing their art."
2011 Flying Squirrels Community Art Contest Winners:
Quinn Kellogg - Kersey Creek Elementary
Amari Addo - George Mason Elementary
Devon Breedlove - Thelma Crenshaw Elementary
Kimberly Dempsey - Amelia County Elementary
John Joyner - Randolph Elementary
Tyler Smith - Cool Spring Elementary
Steven Bey - Chimborazo Elementary
Jordan Lane - Walnut Hill Elementary
Olive Latham-Hill - Fox Elementary
Keara Meeley - Cloverhill Elementary
Alex Reamey - A.M. David Elementary
Corey Hugenberg - Alberta Smith Elementary
Timothy Jones - John B. Cary Elementary
Isaac Quiroa - Miles Jones Elementary
Aysha Berry - Laburnum Elementary
Individual game tickets for the 2011 season of Flying Squirrels will go on sale for the first time during Flying Squirrels' Fan Fest at The Diamond on Saturday, March 5th. Season tickets and mini-plan packages are currently available and can be purchased by calling (804) 359-FUNN (3866), visiting the Flying Squirrels Ticket Office at The Diamond or visiting SquirrelsBaseball.com.