Courtesy Uncle Bob's Ballparks
The other day Greg passed on a release from the Reading Phillies in which they discussed plans to change the team's name. After a few days of mixed reactions from the fanbase, it appears that the team's name is coming out. Last night on the Reading Eagle's website, Mike Drago identified the "Reading Fightins" as the likely team name.
The name got revealed in the Save the Reading Phillies Facebook group. Rich Horst, a member of the group did some detective work with some of the names the group passed around and realized that the domain name readingfightins.com was registered by the Reading Phillies. After getting credit from the Reading Eagle, Horst added:
I'd like to add that domain name registration is publicly available information. They can be listed privately if you pay more money to the registrar. There is no 100% guarantee this is the name but it is owned by the Reading Phillies. Happy to add to the drama.
Later today the website sportslogos.net also picked up on the name change and a couple other variants, which inspired Crossing Broad's piece that includes screen caps of the domain registration. Since then, the domain name has been hidden by Go Daddy's domain proxy service, that provides an anonymous public record.
The Facebook group where it began also started an online petition to keep the name the Phillies. Check it out here.
The name change would be the first since 1962 when the Reading Indians became the Reading Phillies as the franchise switched affiliation from the Cleveland Indians to the Philadelphia Phillies. From my perspective, this switch has been a long time coming.
In recent years the team has tried to create a unique identity for itself. The main way was their uniforms. Whereas the old Reading Phillies jerseys tended to be Phillies jerseys with an extra loop to make the Phillies-style P into the letter R, they began to design their own uniforms. The change enabled them to accent items unique to Reading, such as the pagoda at the top of Mount Penn and the Reading Railroad.
Using "Fightins" would be a great choice, if the team feels that a unique name is necessary. The reason I endorse this name is that it says that the team will keep an affiliation with the Phillies for years to come. Many minor league teams do not keep affiliation long; in the short history of the Trenton Thunder they have been associated with the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees since the team moved to Trenton in 1994. The continuous relationship with Reading goes back to 1962, one of the longest in baseball.
As the various posts state, there is no confirmation that this is the team name. The sudden censoring of the domain ownership, however, would seem to indicate that they wish to keep the name a secret. It may be too late.
As long as the name screams "Phillies", I am happy. "Fightins" does this. I look forward to seeing the uniforms on November 17th.