HamHawks? Shaggers? Kinston residents upset with choice of names for new baseball team

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Residents in Kinston are not pleased with the narrowed down list of names for its new baseball team and officials are paying close attention to the reaction of the choices proposed by the Texas Rangers.

Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy says “They want to get a good sense of what the community is really feeling. I suspect they knew if they put out five names, they were going to get some feedback. I just don’t know if they thought they’d get this much and the intense of feedback.”

WNCT’s Katie Harden made a visit to Kinston to get more feedback from the community. She went to Kinston High School football game and the crowd had mixed emotions, many of them did not want to go on camera.

Kinston resident Vickie Wessell said the name choices do not do the Rangers justice.

“You do not insult my Texas Rangers by calling them something stupid that we’re voting on. Those are my Texas Rangers. I love the Texas Rangers. Those names are horrible,” said Wessell.

The five names chosen from 1,300 submissions are the Down East Eagles, Down East HamHawks, Down East Hogzillas, Down East Shaggers and the Down East Wood Ducks.

Mayor Murphy said no matter what the official name comes down to, the fact that baseball is back in Kinston is a home run.

“I suspect come April 2017 no matter what the name of the team is, these stands are going to be full,” he said.

Fan voting for the new team name will continue though Sep. 29 at 5 p.m. at KinstonBaseball.com. The team plans to announce a new nickname by October.

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