Owner to announce Top 10 team names for incoming Madison baseball team

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MADISON, Ala. - Thursday, BallCorps, LLC. will announce the Top 10 names that came out of its Name the Team contest.

The contest asked people who live in the Tennessee Valley to submit ideas to name the incoming baseball team scheduled to play in April 2020 at a new stadium at Town Madison. The city will build the stadium and work with the developer, Breland Properties, on infrastructure. Meanwhile, BallCorps needs to relocate the Mobile BayBears to North Alabama.

The company previously turned to the community for ideas. Thursday its Top 10 list will go live on this website where you can vote for your favorites.

Ralph Nelson, BallCorps Managing Partner and CEO, said it's possible you may be puzzled by a few of them.

"People are not going to love every one of them," he hinted. "But they are names that are going to create conversations. And for every one of the names, there is a reason why they are there."

You will have an opportunity to vote and be heard about what you think the team should be called. This upcoming round of voting begins on Thursday, July 26 at 2 p.m.

"It is going to help us understand the thought process of the people in this community," he stated.

Nelson said later, the company will reveal a Top 5 and later, in September, its top choice.

WHNT News 19 cannot share any sneak peeks about what's on the Top 10 list, but Nelson did give some more hints: "A lot of names will be related to the aerospace industry. I would say 90% of our nominations were related to aerospace," he said, adding, "But we have names that are fun. Edgy. There's a few, what I would call safe names in there. But they're not going to create as much conversation. People will have a lot to talk about."

There were nearly 3500 names submitted in the original Name the Team contest. Nelson said he found them very creative.

"Very thoughtful," he said. "If you remember, when the nomination was on the website you had to explain why that name fit the community. There were some of the most absolutely thoughtful rationales for the selection of the name." Nelson he was also proud of the way the community took the job seriously.

BallCorps has been working with a branding company called Brandiose to narrow down the list of names into the Top 10 that will be released on Thursday. Nelson said it was lots of hard work, conversations, and research to get to this point.

"The names they selected were based on what they've learned about this community," Nelson said.

We asked Nelson what he would say to people who question the contest and wonder if it's already rigged to have a winner BallCorps has pre-chosen.

"Well, you should be at my dinner table sometime because we are a long way from knowing what it is, and it isn't rigged," Nelson responded. "I don't have the slightest idea what this team is going to be named." He said every one of the names on the Top 10 came from the community.

Roger Wexelberg, BallCorps President, said, "This is really the big thing right now. Things flow with that. Once we get the team name, we can start working on merchandise and the logo." He added, "We are working on creating an atmosphere people want to be a part of."

The company, and the organization, are looking for a few things as they evaluate the names.

"We look at the names from a lot of perspectives. What is something that is going to be fun? Families are going to love going out to the 'x' game," Nelson said. "I just want people to know this is going to be a lot of fun."

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