Coolray Field Getting
Ready To Welcome The New Gwinnett Stripers
By Don Stone, StripersExpress.com
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
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
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
If you step into the team store to the right, you'll see hundred of
Stripers related merchandise from jerseys to t-shirts
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.
to find out about the many game day promotions and giveaway scheduled. If
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