Hartford Yard Goats wonder what might have been

Written By:  •  Thursday, June 28, 2018

Things have worked out fine for the Hartford Yard Goats since their 2016 debut. They’re one of the most talked-about brands in minor league baseball, merchandise sales have been strong, and their ballpark is constantly receiving accolades (after a notably bumpy start, when the park was not ready for the 2016 season, it has been named the best Double-A ballpark two years running by Ballpark Digest).

But tonight, the Yard Goats are wondering what might have been. They’re playing a game as the Hartford Whirly Birds, the name that finished second in a name-the-team contest held after the team announced that its days as the New Britain Rock Cats were over following the 2015 season. The name Whirly Birds would have been an homage to Connecticut’s place in helicopter manufacturing, in particular the Northeast Helicopter training facility, located in nearby Ellington, Connecticut.

The team is wearing promotional uniforms…

…and they even have a mascot for the game:

The game is taking place at this very moment against the Richmond Flying Squirrels.



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Paul Caputo

Paul Caputo is a grown man who collects plastic ice cream helmet sundaes from minor league baseball stadiums because he likes logos that much. He is the author of the first book published by SportsLogos.net, The Story Behind the Nickname: The Origins of 100 Classic, Contemporary, and Wacky Minor League Baseball Team Names. He can be found on Twitter at @Count2Baseball and he maintains the Countdown to Spring Training on Facebook. Paul is a Philadelphia sports fan, but he's not so bad.