The Appalachian League unveiled the last of 10 rebrands in the revamped collegiate summer wood bat league today. The erstwhile Princeton Rays will take on the nickname WhistlePigs, a colloquial name for groundhogs, a critter that is adorable, if a bit of a pest to the West Virginia town’s residents.
The announcement was meant to take place February 2—Groundhog Day—but was held up while the team sorted out legal matters related to trademark issues.
“If you don’t know what a whistlepig is, it’s a groundhog,” said the team’s general manager Danny Shingleton. “When I first got to Princeton almost four years ago, I noticed these furry things running around the Princeton High School campus, and I was like what are those things? Come to find out they’re groundhogs. That’s why we were going to make our announcement on Groundhog Day, which we were going to change to WhistlePig Day.”
The announcement completes the flurry of rebrands by the teams in the Appalachian League, which was made necessary by the league losing its affiliated status in the reshuffling of Minor League Baseball this past offseason.