Yard Goats chosen as new name for Hartford baseball team - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Yard Goats chosen as new name for Hartford baseball team

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Yard Goats is the name of the new Hartford baseball team. (WFSB) Yard Goats is the name of the new Hartford baseball team. (WFSB)
Anthony Castora enjoys the confetti after his name is chosen by the team. (WFSB) Anthony Castora enjoys the confetti after his name is chosen by the team. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The capital city's baseball franchise has its new name, Yard Goats.   

The Hartford Baseball Club made the announcement during a news conference to change the name of the former New Britain Rock Cats.
on Wednesday afternoon.  

Contestants submitted names that were narrowed from 6,000 to five. The decision was between Hedgehogs, Praying Mantis, River Hogs, Whirlybirds and Yard Goats.

But, then, the announcement was made complete with confetti and two actual goats at the Wilson-Gray YMCA & Family Center on Albany Avenue around 4 p.m.

“We wanted a name that would identify our organization as family friendly and appeal to kids as well as baseball fans throughout the region. The Hartford Yard Goats will create new fan experience opportunities for everyone and build a brand that embodies the fun product that minor league baseball teams are all about,” team owner Josh Solomon said.

Anthony Castora, who submitted the winning name, said he was shocked that his submission was chosen by the team. 

"I just entered the contest on a whim," Castora, who called himself a die-hard Yankees fan and loves minor league baseball, said. 

Castora explained that his father-in-law was a big train fan and he said the word yard goats once in conversation. After looking up the meaning of the word, he decided to submit it. 

"Oh that sounds pretty weird, it sounds good for a minor league team name," said Castora, who has won two tickets for life. 

He added that he plans to take his wife to most of the games. 

The name because a hot topic in Connecticut, and across the country.

ESPN's SportsCenter even tweeted "Strange but true: The New Britain Rock Cats (Rockies AA team) will change their name to the Hartford Yard Goats."

The name has attracted mixed opinions.

"That's a very interesting name. My laugh should say it all," said Giancarlo Diroma of Hartford.

Peter Gramegma of Rocky Hill said he thought it was a great name.

"It has history. It's good," Gramegma said.

The name honors Hartford's rich railroad history and is slang for an engine that switches a train to get it ready for another locomotive to take over.

A new ballpark will be built in the city's north end between I-84 and I-91. They have already broken ground on stadium, which is slated to open for the start of the season in April 2016.

City officials, including Mayor Pedro Segarra, said everything from the new stadium to the team renaming was a move to keep the franchise in Connecticut.

The team had been considering moving out of state, possibly to Springfield, MA.

The team now has to create a mascot. The team is working with Brandiose, which is a design firm in San Diego, that has come up with more than 50 team names and graphics. The team colors, logo, uniform and mascots will be unveiled at a later time. 

On Wednesday evening, the hashtag #YardGoats was trending nationally on Twitter. 

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