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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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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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Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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History
The First High Five Recorded in the History of Sports
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Denis Poroy/Getty Images

We don’t quite know who invented the high five—but we can pinpoint the moment it became inextricably linked with sports, which the short documentary The High Five explores below.

On October 2, 1977, Los Angeles Dodgers leftfielder Dusty Baker scored his 30th home run, making the team the first in history to have four players—Baker, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, and Reggie Smith—with at least 30 homers under each of their belts. Fellow outfielder Glenn Burke was so overwhelmed with joy and pride, he raised his arm and slapped his flat palm against the victorious athlete’s own palm. The moment transformed Baker and Burke into legends.

Sadly, the latter player faced hard times ahead: Burke was gay, and it’s believed that his sexuality prompted team officials to trade him to the Oakland A's the following year. In Oakland, Burke clashed with team manager Billy Martin, then retired early from baseball. Today, Burke is remembered for his charisma and talent—and for transforming a simple gesture into a universal symbol. “To think his energy and personality was the origin of that, that’s a pretty good legacy,” sportswriter Lyle Spencer says in the film.

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