Some suggestions for renaming the R-Phils

The Reading Phillies are just a couple days away from becoming a footnote in the history of minor league baseball. Before they underwent a name change, they probably should have asked for our input, because we've got some good ideas.

You might think this is just another article coming up with goofy new names for the Reading baseball franchise. It's not. It's kind of fun to play a serious game of "Guess The Name" when it comes to things like this and that's exactly what I'm doing.

After some serious thought, my educated guess at what the name might be comes from a couple of simple deductions.

First, the same people who own the team in Reading also own the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Both are interesting names with interesting logos that do well in the marketing circles.

Second, it makes sense to name a team after some local connection. The IronPigs are named after the men who worked at the local Bethlehem Steel plant turning out a type of metal known as Pig Iron. The men who produced that metal were affectionately known as Iron Pigs and hence the name.

So, what's big in Reading?

Reading has the famous Pagoda. A landmark that was originally a restaurant and hotel and is still popular today; popular enough that the soon to be defunct uniforms had a pagoda on the sleeve. Then, there's Duryea Drive, which was used as an early testing ground for automobiles.

Of course, anyone who has ever played Monopoly is familiar with Reading Railroad. The team played off of the railroad motif with a facsimile of a steam engine in center field that lights up and shoots smoke when a Reading player hits a home run. That would be a very logical way for the team to go in rebranding their team.

With that in mind, we've got a very logical and possible name for the team. Just remember that you heard it here first; say hello to the Reading IronHorses.

Iron Horse is of course, of course, [sorry for the Mr. Ed reference] another name for a locomotive. The city has a pretty rich rail history and it would be a known entity to tie into.

How about sticking with the rail theme and going with something like the Reading Rail Hawks?

Another way to go is to tie into the BaseballTown label that the team has adopted. Something relating to baseball would be a natural pick. The Reading Black Diamonds would tie into both the railroad theme and baseball theme, thanks to the Black Diamond railroad and the shape of the infield used in the sport. What about the Flying Aces?

The team could also just go way off the local map and find something that fits well with the run of minor league team names. Something along the lines of the Flying Squirrels.

How about Flying Stallions? I've always thought that Talons would be a good nickname for a team. After all, it's the part of a raptor that is used to kill its prey.

Truth is that it's impossible to know which way the team will go for their new identity. But don't underestimate the importance of the choice. After all, people are going to be looking to buy merchandise and that demand will skyrocket if the name - and the accompanying logo - are something cool. Oh, and there's also the matter of tying in a mascot and since Reading likely leads baseball in mascots, they'll need something cool to add to their collection.

No matter what the name is, there will be baseball purists who will say they shouldn't have changed. It's just as likely that there will be fans who will absolutely love the new identity.

Guess we all just have to wait until this Saturday when the official new name is revealed.


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