Ever since 1962 (with the exception of a few years), there has been some sort of minor league baseball team in Jacksonville, Florida who went with the nickname of the Suns. It was one of the rare minor league baseball identities that truly stood the test of time. When you thought of minor league baseball in Jacksonville, you thought of the Suns. The two names went hand in hand.
However, all good things must come to an end, and Suns have decided to trade in the solar heat for the cooling effects of the water, as the team officially unveiled its new identity as the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
If the shift from the traditional “Suns” nickname to the more contemporary “Jumbo Shrimp” nickname is a shock to you, then it shouldn’t be. The Jumbo Shrimp are owned by Ken Babby, who bought the Akron Aeros after the 2012 season and had them rebranded as the Akron RubberDucks. So Babby has been through this experience before (with Brandiose, no less), and now he’s bringing the change to Jacksonville.
The Jumbo Shrimp name will take some getting used to within this tradition-bound baseball community. Babby previously weathered the uproar that accompanied Akron’s switch to RubberDucks, and he’s prepared to see that process through in Jacksonville.
“We perfectly understand that change is hard. It’s a journey, one we’ve seen play out before,” he said. “We’re not turning our back on the great history of this team. We’re still proud of our great players, and the championships won. It’s time to start a new chapter.”
As expected, there are plenty of fans who aren’t taking the change well. In fact, the team’s fans have actually started a petition that’s gained a decent amount of traction.
The Change.org page states, “The Jacksonville Suns have been an institution here in Jacksonville since 1962. The name and iconic theme song are as much as part of Jacksonville as the St. Johns River and the Jaguars.”
They have already received 1,268 signatures as of 11:30am [on November 2nd].
For the fans who are in favor of the change, they’ve got themselves a fun-looking identity to work with here. The logos are solid (as you’d expect from Brandiose), and the uniforms are solid and decent without being too crazy — even for minor league standards.
Overall, the look is pretty solid, even if it’ll take baseball fans in Jacksonville a long time to get used to. But what do you all think? Are you a fan of the Jumbo Shrimp identity, or do you think that they should’ve stuck with the Suns identity?