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My Town Kalamazoo: Growlers turn to public to rename mascot | Arts & Culture

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My Town Kalamazoo: Growlers turn to public to rename mascot
My Town Kalamazoo: Growlers turn to public to rename mascot

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A dispute within Minor League Baseball means the Kalamazoo Growlers will be holding another naming contest for its mascot.

The Growlers must change their mascot’s name, Barlee because it is similar to the Hillsboro Hopps mascot’s name, Barley.  The Hopps, a team out of Hillsboro, Oregon, have a trademark on the name.  The Growlers learned about the name conflict shortly after wrapping up its public naming contest in spring.  The team decided to change their mascot’s name “in the interest of maintaining a healthy working relationship” with the Hillsboro Hopps.

“It is unfortunate, but we see this as an opportunity for the team and our fans to regroup and come back with a name we can embrace and call our own.  Barlee will now move up to the ‘Big Leagues’ like so many of our Northwoods League players and we can start fresh with a new name,” said Growlers Vice President Brian Colopy.

Baseball fans are encouraged to vote for the new name on the team’s website now through Dec. 19.  The proposed names and descriptions from the Growlers are as follows:

  • Blooper – A fun, whimsical name fit for a fun, whimsical mascot! Blooper fits well with baseball as it defines a weakly hit fly ball landing just beyond reach of the infielders. It also ties in well with our mascot as he’s always committing embarrassing, clumsy acts to get big laughs from our fans!
  • Porter – Keeping with the microbrew theme of Barlee, Porter not only gives our “portly” bear a fun name but also pays homage to the rich history of microbreweries in Kalamazoo.
  • Beary – It just makes sense, right?

The winning name will be announced in January. Everyone who votes will receive a coupon for 15 percent off Growlers gear this holiday season. One fan who voted for the winning name will be selected to win four reserved box seats to the Growlers 2015 home opener, a private meet and greet with our new mascot before the game, and a $100 Growlers gift card. Four other voters will receive $25 Growler gift cards.