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Minor League Baseball PR
Minor League Baseball PR

How the Winston-Salem Dash Got Their Name

Minor League Baseball PR
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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Fox Sports, YouTube
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Pop Culture
The Simpsons's Classic Baseball Episode Gets the Mockumentary Treatment
Fox Sports, YouTube
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
Great Big Story, Youtube
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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