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Minor League Baseball PR

How the Winston-Salem Dash Got Their Name

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Minor League Baseball PR

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

Although you might not know it from their name or even their logo, the Chicago White Sox' Class High-A affiliate is the only (current) professional baseball team named after punctuation.

Following the 2008 season, the then-Winston-Salem Warthogs decided to rename the team. A name-the-team contest held by the Winston-Salem Journal—which was also responsible for dubbing the team the Warthogs back in 1994—resulted in the Dash. A speedy-looking, teeth-gritting anthropomorphized baseball logo was unveiled, and a lighting-based mascot named Bolt soon followed (playing on a passable through-line of quickness-related words).

It's fun, simple and sporty. But the inspiration for The Dash didn't come from the speed exhibited by ballplayers on the basepaths. The name was actually inspired by the little line that joined the twin cities into a single entity around the turn of the 20th century, the same reason that the team was known as the Twins for much of their early history, despite never forging an affiliation with the Minnesota organization. Of course, that mark is actually a hyphen but in this instance, accuracy lost out to panache.

See all our mascot stories here.

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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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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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