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Yard Goats set to go green with alternate identity

Hartford will become the Bouncing Pickles for one night only
The Bouncing Pickles refers to a blue law in Connecticut about the freshness of a pickle. (Hartford Yard Goats)
May 16, 2023

What's the dill with Hartford's new alternate identity? We've got the juicy details right here, and we'll be snappy about them.

What's the dill with Hartford's new alternate identity? We've got the juicy details right here, and we'll be snappy about them.

Double-A Hartford will take the field as the Bouncing Pickles on Wednesday, May 17, when the club hosts Portland at Dunkin' Park.

The new green ID stems from an obscure blue law in Connecticut which makes it illegal to sell a pickle if it doesn't bounce.

No, seriously.

"We've had success playing as the Hartford Steamed Cheeseburgers in the past, so we wanted to come up with a new food identity for this season," Yard Goats General Manager Mike Abramson. "So we decided to look through some old blue laws and came across the bouncing pickles law and it was just perfect.

"It's the perfect mix of something local, fun, edgy and allowed us the freedom to be more silly than normal with the branding, so when we saw it, it was a no-brainer."

While there is no real evidence that the law exists today, we do know that there was an ordinance about this in 1948. According to an article in the Hartford Current on May 6, 1948, headlined "Pickles Lack Bounce, Two Men Arrested," a pair of pickle packers -- Sidney Sparer and Moses Dexler -- were arrested in Ellington, CT for selling pickles unfit for human consumption.

As a result the Connecticut Food and Drug Commissioner at the time, Frederick Holcomb, released ways to check for a good pickle. He said, "Drop it one foot and it should bounce." The pickles confiscated from Sparer and Dexler did not, so the men were fined $500 and their entire stock of pickles was destroyed.

The state also released a "If it doesn't bounce, don't eat an ounce" campaign.

No, seriously.

On Wednesday, there probably will not be any pickle bouncing on the field at Dunkin' Park. But don't worry, there will still be barrels of pickled fun to relish.

"Our brand will be entirely taken over as the Bouncing Pickles, everything," Abramson said. "From the uniforms to the graphics on the field and the video board, we're going to rebrand all of the onfield promos as well. Instead of the baby goat race we're going to have a baby pickle race for the young kids. While there isn't a lot of it, we will be playing music that alludes to pickles. We've got special concession items that include pickled nachos and pickled popcorn. There will also be crafts and coloring pages for children."

The new Bouncing Pickles logo was created by Caroline Jette, who also created the club's Steamed Cheeseburger logo, and features a smiling pickle with a backwards baseball cap hopping on a pogo stick. As Abramson put it, "It's just really cool."

But what about the pickle bouncing? Well, while Abramson acknowledged that bouncing of pickles is not in the script just yet, it hasn't been completely ruled out. There is an ongoing discussion about letting the mascot do it between innings, but fan participation is probably not in the cards. However, an investigative report by the local NBC affiliate on pickle bouncing at Dunkin' Park will be shown on the video board at some point.

You can watch that right here:

Wednesday will mark the only time this season that the Yard Goats will assume the Bouncing Pickles identity, unless (of course) fans get salty and demand more.

Rob Terranova is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @RobTnova24.