New Atlantic League team to play in Gastonia, NC

A new independent baseball team coming to Gastonia, North Carolina, is looking for a nickname. The team is asking fans to consider factors related to the city’s “historical significance, roots in baseball, local geography, work ethic and culture, the community’s personality, and other elements unique to the city and its people.” They’ll be collecting submissions on their website through August 31.

My vote is for the Gastonia Strikes, an homage to the famous 1929 National Textile Workers Union strike, which put the city on the map globally and was the setting for six different novels published in the 1930s. (Another option would be the Gas House Gang, which is actually the name of the group that purchased the team.)

Gastonia will play host to the Atlantic League’s ninth team. The league’s other teams play in the mid-Atlantic region, distributed from Long Island, New York, down to High Point, North Carolina, with one outlier in Sugar Land, Texas. (It’s worth noting here that the Sugar Land Skeeters were one of two independent teams rumored to be gaining MLB affiliation when the list of 42 minor league teams scheduled for de-affiliation was leaked late last year.)

The top five name options will be presented for a vote in early September.