The Johnson City Doughboys are the third of ten Appalachian League teams to announce rebrands this offseason. The Doughboys nickname draws on patriotic pride, and specifically pays homage to a “Doughboys” statue, the only of its kind in the state of Tennessee, located near the team’s stadium.
The term Doughboys is most commonly used to describe American soldiers deployed in Europe during World War I. According to History.com, “the term dates back to the Mexican War of 1846-48, when American infantrymen made long treks over dusty terrain, giving them the appearance of being covered in flour, or dough.”
The fact that Johnson City is home to a Doughboys statue close to the team’s stadium made the decision to pay homage to WWI soldiers an easy one.
“When we realized that the doughboys statue was right behind the stadium, and the significance of the statue, the more research we did, the more I fell in love with the name,” said the team’s general manager Zac Clark, quoted by Jarvis Haren.
The name fit the bill of the team’s goal to find a name unique to the city without being outlandish.
“Doughboys is fairly sophisticated, right?” Clark said. “It’s not too far out there. It’s meaningful.”
The nickname also evokes the city’s baseball past: From 1910 to 1938, Johnson City’s Appalachian League team was called the Soldiers.
The Doughboys debut June 3 against the recently renamed Bristol State Liners.