Modesto Baseball Fans Aren't Nuts About Team's New Name


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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, December 9, 2004
From now on, they’ll be known as the Modesto “Nuts.” The long-time California League team had to assume a new name after the Oakland A’s ended a nearly 30-year affiliation. The newly unveiled moniker is driving some local baseball fans – well – nuts. Modesto sports-talk radio host Geoff Silvius says response to the Nuts name has been mixed, but many callers are taking the opportunity to poke fun. SILVIUS :08--Nuts being crazy versus nuts kind of the male anatomy kind of thing. Those seem to be the more prevalent jokes that were being made about the team name. The name spurred letters to the Modesto Bee containing impassioned pleas for officials to reconsider. As one baseball fan wrote – “Imagine the team being in a six-game losing streak and having the name Nuts. Emasculation comes to mind immediately”. Team Public Relations Director, Brian LaFountain says “Nuts” is only a reference to the almonds and walnuts that are grown in Stanislaus County. In any case, he says, the fans made the selection in a name the team contest. LAFOUNTAIN :07—Anyone could write in and vote on one of the five finalists. And Modesto “Nuts” took 52 percent of the vote.   Other name finalists included the Modesto Dusters and the Derailers. The single-A team is now part of the Colorado Rockies farm system, and Rockies officials don’t want to comment, saying the name was a local decision. LaFountain insists there are no plans to reconsider the name. He expects the controversy will eventually die down as fans return to the nuts and bolts of baseball. LAFOUNTAIN :14—This year we know that we have an uphill battle because there are people out there who aren’t happy with the name. But I think people are going to find out real quickly when we get into the season that we’re still a great team and we’re going to put a great product on the field every night. The Nuts season gets underway in April. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.