The History File: Clinton LumberKings Are Born

Part nine of a look back at 74 years of Clinton Baseball history

By Clinton LumberKings | March 4, 2011 7:38 AM ET

"Clinton LumberKings are Born"

From the 1994 Souvenir Program

History was being made on October 22nd, 1993 as area media gathered in the Riverview Stadium Clubhouse awaiting the announcement of the new nickname for the 1994 season. Clinton Baseball Club, Inc. President Ed Kross announced that morning the club had selected "LumberKings" as its nickname for the 1994 season.

Why change the name? With facing the economic challenges of keeping professional baseball alive in our community, the Clinton Baseball Club, Inc. decided that developing a unique nickname would give them their own separate identity. In 1994, Clinton will celebrate the 15th anniversary as the Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants and remain the longest continuous franchise in the Midwest League.

The winning entry was submitted by Giants fan, Norma Stauffer, of 2188 17th Place in Clinton, who received $100 cash, two season box seat tickets and a LumberKings cap and jacket for submitting the new name. Stauffer was the only fan to submit "LumberKings" and chose the name based on "the old lumber business in Clinton (Lamb, Curtis Co., etc.)"

"What inspired me most was the fact that my father worked for the Curtis Company from the time he was 19 years old, until they closed their doors." The LumberKings logo was developed by Todd Steffens of Sullivan & Steffens Marketing & Design, Inc. of Clinton.

In early July, the Clinton Baseball Club, Inc. 30-person Board of Directors narrowed the list of nicknames from 354 to 92 and two weeks later reduced the list to 11 finalists, among which were Aces, Nighthawks, Skeeters, Catfish, River Hawks, Crickets, River Rats, Mighty Oaks, Showboats and Twisters. IN early August a "short list" of three finalists was developed with "LumberKings" being selected as the official nickname on August 21.

"We'd like to thank everyone who submitted a name or names for our nickname contest," President Ed Kross commented, "Our fans came up with some great suggestions and it was a very difficult decision for the board to make."

Steffens' original LumberKings logos remained unchanged from 1994 through the 2007 season, although additional alternate logos in the "C Crown" and "CL Crown" were added in later seasons. Prior to 2008, the LumberKings script and both "C Crown" logos were updated to feature a gold crown. The "Louie" logo also received a modernized upgrade, including a new gold crown, goatee, rolled-up sleeves and traditional baseball bat. The revamped logo reached the final four of that offseason's MSNBC Minor League Logo Contest.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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