HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Talk about being a fan since birth! Newborns out of Madison Hospital will receive Rocket City Trash Panda onesies in the new year.
Monday, the owners of Madison's incoming minor league team visited Madison Hospital's maternity ward to gift 25 newborn-size onesies. The plan is for the staff to hand the onesies out to babies born in the new year.
"We'll have Trash Panda fans for life!" joked Ralph Nelson. "But really, it was just a way to say 'thank you' in a small way to the community for the incredible support."
Nelson said his wife, Lisa, came up with the idea. She hopes these onesies clothe little baseball fans.
"With all the babies that are being born coming into the new year, I thought, 'What a great way to get them started!'" Lisa Nelson stated. "Great kids, great families. Minor league baseball and the Rocket City Trash Pandas are all about family. That's what the stadium and ballpark is going to be about. We hope they'll come out and join us."
The Nelsons visited Stormy and Chris Hornbuckle, and newborn Wyatt Hornbuckle, to bestow the first onesie on New Year's Eve. Wyatt was born at 7:46 a.m. on Monday and his parents already had him dressed in a baseball tee. Now, he has even more baseball swag to call his own.
"He's going to be on the 2036 Trash Pandas," Ralph Nelson joked after Lisa handed Stormy the gift. "He looks like a shortstop to me."
Hospital leaders said the gift means so much not just to patients, but to hospital staff too.
"This is a community hospital. When the community comes in and wants to do things for us, for our patients, it means a lot to us," said Mary Lynne Wright, President of Madison Hospital. "And I think it means a lot to our staff. It shows that this community does support what we are doing here. We are now delivering 150-160 babies a month at Madison Hospital. We will probably be delivering 200 babies a month by the time the ball team is ready to play."
She said the 25 onesies will probably be given out by the second week in January.
"This is a great token from the Trash Pandas. We are just very appreciative," Wright said.
And did you know that a group of raccoons is called a nursery? Perhaps these onesies are an even more appropriate gift for little "cubs" being born into the fanbase.
For those who are looking for a onesie of their own without having to deliver a baby to get it, Nelson said the Trash Pandas store is closed for a month at Bridge Street.
However, on February 1, they plan to be back stocking the onesies. You can also place orders online.
"We got the onesies in a little closer to Christmas," Lisa Nelson said. "They flew off the shelves. We did a reorder. We have them coming in with a Carolina blue and white."