With the New Britain Rock Cats (formerly Red Sox) moving to new digs in Hartford in 2016 and with that came the inevitable contest to rename the ballclub. So congratulations then, to UConn grad Antohny Castora, whose submission “Yard Goats”, was inexplicably chosen the winner, as the Hartford Courant’s Paul Doyle explains.
“To me, Yard Goats just stood out,” Castora said. “I wanted something that would be fun, but have a double meaning. I know everybody has made fun of it … but this is unique.”
Castora also said that he submitted the name on his own and that he has no connection to Brandiose, the branding and marketing company that works with minor league teams. It was his idea and he was the only person to submit Yard Goats.
“No, this is all me,” said Castora, a teacher who took two days off from work to attend the press conference.
And he thought that Whirlybirds would win. “I would have been happy to lose to Whirlybirds,” he said.
When the Rock Cats announced their move, there was strong support for a name that connected the franchise to Hartford’s baseball history. But Dark Blues, Bees, Laurels and other historic names did not make the cut. Nor did names connected to Mark Twain’s presence in the city (Huckleberries led a Courant online poll as a write-in choice).