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Coolray Field Getting Ready To Welcome The New Gwinnett Stripers

By Don Stone,

  Baseball season is upon us. The Major Leagues are already a few games under way, which means the Minor Leagues will quickly follow. Fans of those teams eagerly await seeing what hot prospects will be suiting up. For the Atlanta Braves, there are certainly plenty of those available, ranked as the #1 farm system among all MLB teams. Some have already made their way to Suntrust Park.
  There are always colorful name changes in the minors littered with monikers like the Asheville Tourists, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp and Lehigh Valley IronPigs, not to mention the Braves' single A team, the Florida Fire Frogs, formerly the Carolina Mud Cats.
  And, for those who haven't been paying attention, the Gwinnett Braves will no longer be playing at Coolray Field. In their place, a new name, the Gwinnett Stripers.
  After a name changing contest, the team asked fans last fall to vote on six choices, the Gwinnett Buttons, Gwinnett Big Mouths, Gwinnett Gobblers, Gwinnett Hush Puppies, Gwinnett Lambchops and Gwinnett Sweet Teas. All drew a large amount of criticism on social media. Fortunately, the Braves saw the light and went a different direction coming up with the Gwinnett Stripers. A new logo reflecting the fish theme was designed.
  The team begins the season this week with a pair of series on the road at Norfolk and Durham. And, since none of the games are televised, fans won't be able to see the team in action with their new uniforms until next week. But, Coolray Field will have a whole new look reflecting the name change.
  I stopped by yesterday to check it out. Workers were still making final changes and the team store was busy stocking new merchandise.
  When fans first arrive, they'll see a huge Gwinnett Stripers logo greeting them. As they walk up the main entrance, there will be no doubt that the Gwinnett Braves are long gone. Three huge signs covering a hundred feet hang above the gates letting you know you're about to enter Stripers territory.
  If you step into the team store to the right, you'll see hundred of Stripers related merchandise from jerseys to t-shirts and caps. Four versions of the new uniforms carry the dominant green and blue new team colors, with a touch of red mixed in.
  To go with the excitement of a new season, new name and new colors, the potential of a special season looms as well. The Braves have been in a rebuilding mode the last few years making trades to acquire as many talented young players as possible. With all of that comes great expectations. A good portion of the wealth of prospects that populate the best minor league system in baseball will be making their way through Coolray Field this year.
  Some are already on the Atlanta Braves. Some are on their way but still in the lower levels on the (AA) Mississippi Braves, (A) Advanced Florida Fire Frogs and the (A) level Rome Braves. But Ronald Acuna, Aaron Blair, Lucas Sims and Rio Ruiz are among many set to don the new Stripers uniforms in the coming days. And that should produce a lot of winning this season.
  You'll have seven games to open the first homestand against the Minnesota Twins' (AAA) team, the Rochester Red Wings and the Yankees (AAA) team, the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders. It all begins on Thursday, April 12. Click here to find out about the many game day promotions and giveaway scheduled. If you don't already receive the Stripers Express E-Blast Newsletter, email us at and sign up for free. We'll have 14 issues sent out throughout the 2018 season.

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The Braves Express & Stripers Express are not affiliated with the Atlanta Braves or the Gwinnett Stripers