New name spurred Logomania title, Golden Bobblehead win
November 15, 2017 12:22 PM ET
It's been one year since the New Orleans Baby Cakes were born, and to celebrate, we are taking a look back at the top five moments since the name change.
5. Unveiling ceremony
After months of anticipation, the New Orleans Zephyrs officially became the New Orleans Baby Cakes in a November 15 ceremony at the Shrine on Airline. The event was attended by community leaders and entertainers alike, and included a video of celebrities ranging from Saints and Pelicans players to Shaquille O'Neal proclaiming themselves to be Baby Cakes. The name change was a topic of conversation on sports shows the following day, with ESPN's Barry Melrose and Mike Golic providing their stamps of approval.
4. New amenities
The Shrine on Airline celebrated its 20th anniversary on April 11, and received some new amenities for the debut of the Baby Cakes. A new ground-floor retail store opened, giving shoppers a convenient place to go for souvenirs year-round. The Bayou Social opened on the concourse, providing fans with a comfortable place to have a drink, socialize and escape the summer heat during games. And the Cake Club became a popular hospitality area offering food, a pool table and televisions while enjoying the game from a view along the suite level.
Just one week into the season, the 'Cakes made history by throwing the third no-hitter in franchise history in an 11-1 win over the Iowa Cubs in Des Moines. Scott Copeland needed only 63 pitches to face the minimum through the first seven innings. Hunter Cervenka walked two in the eighth and an unearned run scored following two New Orleans errors before Brandon Cunniff retired the side in order in the ninth to secure the team's first no-no since 2001. It was only the third no-hitter in Pacific Coast League history to feature three pitchers.
2. Logomania champions
The Baby Cakes were one of 36 teams entered into Baseball America's Logomania, a competition to determine the best logo in Minor League Baseball. In the end, the field was narrowed to two teams via online fan voting: the Baby Cakes and the Vermont Lake Monsters. New Orleans ran away with the title by a margin of 81.2 percent to 18.8 percent.
1. Golden Bobblehead winners
When the new name was introduced, team owner Lou Schwechheimer declared 2017 to be the "Year of the Baby Cake," offering free lifetime passes to each baby born in the state of Louisiana during the calendar year, with one of the babies receiving a full, four-year tuition to the Louisiana college of their choosing when they turn 18. Through October 1, nearly 3,000 babies had been registered with involvement from 25 hospitals throughout the state. Newborns and their families participated in events such as on-field parades and "diaper dashes" throughout the season, and more than 250 pounds of baby food and 8,000 diapers were collected for local pantries to be distributed to those in need. In recognition of the program, the Baby Cakes were awarded the prestigious Golden Bobblehead for Best Community Promotion during the MiLB Promotional Seminar in Greeneville, South Carolina.
The announced attendance of 11,807 for the May 19 game against Las Vegas, Superhero Night, was the second-largest in franchise history.
Jarrius "Little JJ" Robertson, recipient of the 2017 Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYs, signed a one-day contract with the Baby Cakes during a June 15 press conference.
Also on June 15, Capitol Police Officer David Bailey, injured in the attack on the GOP baseball practice involving Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise the previous day, dons a Baby Cakes hat while throwing out the ceremonial first pitch alongside Joe Torre at the Congressional baseball game.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.