MADISON COUNTY, Ala. -- Much of north Alabama is gearing for minor leagues baseball's return, but that gear may be counterfeit. A slew of counterfeit Trash Panda merchandise has been popping up online. Here's more on what to look out for, and how to get official team products.
"Obviously they don't sell our merchandise, because we haven't released the logo yet," said Ralph Nelson, Managing Partner Ball Corps, LLC.
He said they have already seen at least a dozen of these sites and reported them to the Minor League Baseball to be shut down.
"It's not something we're gonna pursue legally, except that if somebody refused to take it down or somebody tried to call it official or trademarked," said Nelson.
He said that is how you can spot the real merchandise.
"If it says official licensed minor league baseball apparel or merchandise, then it's official. If it doesn't, then it is from a non-licensed vendor, and it's not the real thing," said Nelson.
He said what he is most worried about fans buying the gear then being disappointed that it looks nothing like the official merchandise.
While of course counterfeiters aren't desired, he says there are some bragging rights that go with it.
"Minor League Baseball [says] they've had like one or two of these pop up over the years for all the name in minor league baseball," said Nelson. "And they're dealing with a dozen or more for the Trash Pandas. So obviously, we've hit a really popular name."
The official Trash Panda logo will be released next week, on October 27, along with the winner of the kid's logo contest.