I really don’t want to see them go away from the Beavers nickname. It has way too much history, is completely unique throughout professional sports (although it is Oregon State University’s mascot), and people identify Beavers with baseball in Portland. When the Beavers moved to Salt Lake and the Rockies replaced them, I don’t think anybody knew what to do with the name. It never fit, but not necessarily because of the fact that they took a parent club’s name that didn’t match the city one bit, but simply because they weren’t called the Beavers anymore.
I understand why they want to change – to distance themselves from all of the problems that the Beavers management has had over the last few years and to distinguish themselves from OSU. And a name change might temporarily be a hit – they would sell a bunch of merchandise to the diehard fans. But in the long run, the Beavers name has to stick. It’s too ingrained in the culture of Portland to allow another nickname to be more than a momentary success.
For the next week, the team is asking for the public’s opinion. I’ve already voted. I gave my first, second, third, fourth and fifth choices to the Beavers (and the website allowed me to do that, which surprised me). I’d ask you to vote for Beavers and then leave them a note urging them not to change names, but do what you like, I’m not your mom.
In case you’re wondering, if they have to change, I’d vote for the Wet Sox. But I don’t even want to dignify the thought of changing by reviewing any of these logos.
I also don’t think this is a very serious effort, just something done more out of curiosity and to generate some publicity. If they expected to change logos next season, why in the world would they release a 2009 PCL All-Star Game logo in red and black. Even though the logo is a little generic, if they were serious, they would have waited until they knew the colors the team would be wearing. It’s not like releasing the All-Star Game logo was a time-sensitive matter.
UPDATE – 9/5 – Good news, the Beavers announced today that they will be keeping their nickname. Sounds like the fans spoke out pretty strongly in favor of history. I’m happy to have done my part.
I think it’s a very smart move to keep the name but I also think it was very smart of them to at least explore the possibilities. Merritt Paulson is a new owner and I’m sure he wanted to know as much as he possibly could to make this thing work.
And it didn’t hurt to have all that publicity. By exploring the options, he made the citizens of Portland take ownership of that nickname and a personal stake in keeping the Beavers nickname in town. I think it was a very shrewd move that will pay off in the long run.