Flashback Friday: How the Foxes Got Their Name (1958

The Fox Cities Baseball Club was looking for a nickname in 1958. This is the form that helped them find one.

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | October 4, 2013 6:30 AM ET

The Appleton Papermakers folded - along with the rest of the Wisconsin State League after the 1953 baseball season. Baseball returned to Goodland Field for 1958. But, what would the Fox Cities' entry to the Three-I League be called?

As you can tell by the entry form up top, there was a "Name the Team" Contest. This edition of Flashback Friday takes a look at the process and the winners.

That entry form was from the February 5, 1958 edition of The Post-Crescent. The next entry about the contest is from one week later. The February 12 issue announces the six judges who will pick the winner.

6 Judges Will Pick Baseball Contest Winner
102 Entries Are in; 'Name' Test will Close Saturday

The Fox Cities Baseball Club has announced that six judges will select the winners of the first and second prizes in the "Name the Team" contest now going on.

The judges are Ray Hamann, Kimberly High school, principal; Jim Lang, managing editor of the Kaukauna Times; Bill Fitzpatrick, Little Chute St. John's coach; Bob Lloyd, sportscaster for station WHBY; Randy Haase, The Post-Crescent's Neenah-Menasha city editor; and John Paustian, Post-Crescent Sports Editor.

Deadline Falls Saturday

Thus far, 102 entries have been received in the contest. All entries must be postmarked by midnight Saturday.

The contest winner will receive two season tickets to the 1958 home games of the Fox Cities club in the Three-I league. The runnerup will receive two books of 10 tickets.

The entry that was come from the greatest distance thus far is one from Antigo.

Contest participants must submit their entry in written form (either on the blank appearing in The Post-Crescent or one of their own choosing) to Business Manager Bob Willis, Fox Cities Baseball club, Post Office Box, 403, Appleton. The entry must include a team nickname (either alone or in combination with an emblem or drawing) and a statement of not more than 25 words on why the name was chosen.

Individuals may send more than one entry, but each one must be submitted separately.


The winners were announced in The Post-Crescent on February 25, 1958

New 3-I League '9' To be Called Foxes
Edwill Murphy Awarded 2 Season Tickets; Kenneth Smith Wins Second Prize in Name Contest

The Foxe Cities' new team in the Class B, Three-I league will be known as the Foxes. 

This is the winning name in the recently-concluded contest sponsored by the club.

Edwill Murphy, 803 W. Wisconsin avenue, Appleton, is the recipient of the first prize - two season tickets to the Foxes' home games - in the contest.

Kenneth E. Smith, Highway 41, Neenah, another of the contestants to submit the name "Foxes" has won second prize. He receives 20 game tickets (two books of 10).

Most Appropriate

The panel of six contest judges deemed the "Foxes" the most appropriate and symbolic nickname for the team.

The name "Foxes", or some variation of it, was the most frequent one submitted. A total of 100 contest entries were received.

The two winning entries among those who picked the same nickname were chosen by the judges on the basis of the 25 words-or-less statements that accompanied the names. The originality and aptness of the statements explaining why the name was picked proved the deciding factor.

The judges report that a number of entries had to be disqualified because the word limit on the statements was exceeded.

Braves Fans

Murphy, 40, is married and the father of five children, four of them boys. He is employed by the Valley Iron Works. The father and the oldest son, Ronald (17) are the family's biggest baseball fans. Ronald is a big Milwaukee Braves fan, while his father likes both the Cardinals and the Braves. The family, including Mrs. Murphy followed the Papermakers in the days of Class D here.

Murphy is a graduate of Freedom High school and participated in sports there. He had never won a contest before.

Smith, 43, is married and has two children. He is the owner of Smith's Honey Farms. He participated in a number of sports at Oshkosh High school. He played on the same basketball team with Gil McDonald and "Fritz" Wegner, who later went on to basketball fame at the University of Wisconsin.

Smith was also an active softball player. In the 1930's his Oshkosh team played against Pond's of Appleton in the state tournament. The Appleton pitcher at the time was Emmett Mortell.

The Braves are Smith's favorite major league team. He attended games both in Appleton and Oshkosh when the Wisconsin State league existed.

I wish that the judges would have included the 25 words-or-less entries from the winners in the article. Also, I would have liked to have seen what the emblem from anyone would have looked like.

Sadly, a complete list of the nicknames suggested was not included with the article. That would have been something to see…if only for ideas for a future "What Could Have Been" Night at the ballpark.

The 1958 season opened on April 27 and they waited until about two months before the season started to name the team.

According to an article from the March 6 edition of the PC, the jerseys and equipment weren't ordered until that time. That's cutting it pretty close…no?

Gil McDonald and Fritz Wegner did a lot more than just play basketball for the Badgers.

Emmett Mortell played football at Wisconsin and Notre Dame before a three-year career with the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL in the 1930's.

Past Flashbacks:

Second Half Preview (1966)

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

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