In 1999, when Midland Professional Baseball changed affiliations to the Oakland A's, a new name was needed to create our own identity.
A "Name the Team" contest took place and ultimately, the RockHounds became the choice and are now synonymous with family fun and entertainment in West Texas. But what about the other names which were submitted by the fans that did not make the cut? Nicknames like the Derricks or the Dusters? What about the Magicians or the Tumbleweeds?
For one weekend only, the RockHounds are going to see "what if" things would have been different and the team's name was one of the other fan-submitted choices - the Midland Millionaires! The Millionaires name was one of the choices in the original "Name the Team" contest back in 1998.
The RockHounds will become the Millionaires from August 18-20 as they will host the Tulsa Drillers on Thursday, August 18 and then the Springfield Cardinals on Friday, August 19 and Saturday, August 20.
The "What If?" concept is nothing new to Minor League Baseball as the Pensacola Blue Wahoos have transformed to the Pensacola Mullets; the Omaha Storm Chasers became the OmaHogs; the El Paso Chihuahuas turned into the El Paso Desert Gators and the Round Rock Express morphed into the Round Rock Fire Ants.
While this "What If?" weekend gives us a chance to imagine what might have been, it also gives us a chance to give back to the community as we will be partnering with the United Ways of both Midland and Odessa, as they kick off their annual campaign drives that weekend.
The goal beginning with today's announcement of the RockHounds transforming into the Millionaires is to challenge the people of the Permian Basin to raise $1,000,000 by the time our "What If?" weekend concludes on the night of August 20.
Our outstanding partners at Chevron are kick-starting this campaign with their donation of $110,000.
The team will be wearing specialty caps and jerseys sponsored by Flotek - Making A Difference, to go along with the Millionaires name and proceeds from the signed jersey auction will go to the United Ways of Midland and Odessa. We will also be donating proceeds from merchandise sales, the home run and strikeout dollars from our players, and the post-game ball toss. A silent auction will also be held and donation tables for both the United Way of Midland and the United Way of Odessa will be on the concourse throughout the weekend. There will also be a postgame fireworks show following the Saturday game presented by Cimarex.
Our in-game presentation will also reflect what it would have been like if the RockHounds were named the Millionaires as we will have a money grab machine, a true "Dash for Cash" and our very own on-field personality, Matt the Money Man! Fans can also expect new graphics and animations on the videoboard, as well as music reflecting the Millionaires theme.
For more information on the Midland Millionaires weekend, please call 432-520-2255 or visit midlandrockhounds.org.