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Fort Wayne TinCaps

How the Fort Wayne TinCaps Got Their Name

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Fort Wayne TinCaps

Through Opening Day, we'll be looking at the stories behind some of the greatest team names in Minor League Baseball.

"There were many great suggestions. There were also candidates of questionable relevance, questionable taste and those we just didn’t get," General Manager Mike Nutter said of the submissions the team received when it came time to rename the Padres Single-A affiliate.

The team had been the Wizards since baseball first came to Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1993, but with a new stadium opening for the 2009 season, the team wanted a new name. "The humorous offerings from the community were much appreciated. In addition to demonstrating some tremendous creativity, they really helped keep the process fun for us as we waded through well over 2,000 serious selections."

Odd options like the "Fort Wayne Fashizzle" or the "Fort Wayne Squealing Pigs" or the "Fort Wayne Crazy Uncles" are the risk you run when you solicit suggestions from the fans. But many of the 2,574 entries were more in keeping with the community's legacy. In fact, hundreds of suggestions all alluded to one of the city's most famous former residents: Johnny Appleseed.

When considering how to incorporate the pioneering spirit of the man, whose real name was John Chapman, team officials were drawn to the tin cooking pot he often wore on his head. It looked like a backwards baseball cap. And so, rather than "Appleseeders" or "Applejacks" or other monikers in memorial to the American legend, the team went with TinCaps for a unique spin specific to John Chapman. Of course, the orchard staple earns a prominent place in the team's identity with an anthropomorphized apple giving attitude on the logo.

See all our mascot stories.

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Fox Sports, YouTube
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Pop Culture
The Simpsons's Classic Baseball Episode Gets the Mockumentary Treatment
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Fox Sports, YouTube

Opinions vary widely about the continued existence of The Simpsons, which just began its 29th season. Some believe the show ran out of steam decades ago, while others see no reason why the satirical animated comedy can’t run forever.

Both sides will no doubt have something to say about the episode airing Sunday, October 22, which reframes the premise of the show’s classic “Homer at the Bat” installment from 1992 as a Ken Burns-style mockumentary titled Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson.

As Mashable reports, “Homer at the Bat” saw Montgomery Burns launch his own baseball team and populate it with real major league players like Wade Boggs, Steve Sax, and Jose Canseco to dominate the competition. In the one-hour special, the players will discuss their (fictional) participation, along with interviews featuring Homer and other members of the animated cast.

It’s not clear how much of the special will break the fourth wall and go into the actual making of the episode, a backstory that involves guest star Ken Griffey Jr. getting increasingly frustrated recording his lines and Canseco’s wife objecting to a scene in which her husband's animated counterpart wakes up in bed with lecherous schoolteacher Edna Krabappel.

Morgan Spurlock (Super-Size Me) directed the special, which is slated to air on Fox at either 3 p.m. EST or 4:30 p.m. EST depending on NFL schedules in local markets. There will also be a new episode of The Simpsons—an annual Halloween-themed "Treehouse of Horror" installment—airing in its regular 8 p.m. time slot.

[h/t Mashable]

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Great Big Story, Youtube
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video
Seattle Mariners Fans Are Going Crazy for These Crunchy Grasshopper Snacks
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Great Big Story, Youtube

Seattle Mariners fans have more than warmed up to the newest, offbeat addition to the Safeco Field concessions menu: toasted grasshoppers covered in chili-lime salt.

The crunchy snack, which sells for $4 and comes packed in a small container, has only been available for less than a season but has already sold 300,000-plus orders to date. That's about 1000 pounds of grasshoppers. 

Frequenters of Seattle's popular Mexican restaurant Poquitos will know that this delicacy—which first started as a novelty item on its menu—has actually been available to the public for six years. But it wasn't until local chef Ethan Stowell was hired to give the Safeco Field menu a hip retooling that the salty bugs found new, fervent popularity at the ballpark. (Also on the Safeco menu: fried oysters drizzled in hot sauce.)

Great Big Story met up with Manny Arce, the executive chef of Poquitos and visionary behind this culinary home run, to discuss the popularity of these crunchy critters. You can watch the video interview below:

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