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New Hampshire Fisher Cats

How the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Got Their Name

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New Hampshire Fisher Cats

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

On November 6, 2003, the team previously known as the New Haven Ravens announced they would be renamed the New Hampshire Primaries to coincide with the move to Manchester for the 2004 season. The name celebrated New Hampshire's unique national position as the host of the first presidential primaries every four years, thereby signaling the start of the election season. The logo, showcasing the Democratic Party donkey and the Republican Party elephant, really drove home the political implications.

Courtesy of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Four days later, the team—the Double-A affiliate of the Blue Jays—announced they'd changed their minds, and would seek a different name. In the interim, community members and the local media expressed outrage, culminating in a front-page story in the New Hampshire Union Leader. The paper even established a petition to implore the organization to reconsider, obtaining over 1000 signatures in the first day.

The team acquiesced. Just over a week after the whole kerfuffle began, a Name The Team contest kicked off. In the first round, fans submitted suggestions; a second round saw the pool narrowed to five finalists before a winner was selected. Fisher Cats eked out a win with 24.5 percent of the vote, barely beating the second place Manchester Millers. The Primaries, which made it to the final round despite the uproar, came in last with a measly 9.7 percent of the vote.

Instead of an infrequent political event, the team would instead boast a forest-dwelling member of the weasel family (unrelated to anything feline) as their namesake. But the initial effort was not all for naught. In several instances since the debut of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the team has hosted a "turn back the clock" promotion in which they sported Primaries uniforms in honor of the name that almost was.

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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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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