Yuma baseball franchise has a name — Desert Rats
Yuma's America West Baseball League franchise has a name.
Meet the Desert Rats.
The team announced the winner of its contest Monday, and when the team starts play in June it will be the Yuma Desert Rats.
So what's the next step for Desert Rat owner Tim Ferguson?
“The baddest logo in all of minor league baseball.”
Vice president Tina Eaton has been meeting with graphic designers, and the team will hold another contest, this one to select the mascot.
“Everything we're doing is geared toward working here in the community,” Ferguson said. “I had anxiety selecting the name because it had to be something Yuma could connect with the community and be something they could get behind. My personal opinion is Desert Rats, I can't imagine a better name.”
And it's more than a name, according to Ferguson. The runner up name, Scorcher, will be the name of the mascot. And the fans of the club will be called the Rat Pack.
“I like the bundle,” Eaton said. “I like the Rat Pack as our fans and Scorcher as our mascot. I think it's going to be great.”
After the owners of the AWBL purchased the Yuma franchise, which was the Scorpions, they immediately announced the team was changing to the Panthers, referencing a team that played in Yuma more than 60 years ago. When the league sold the franchise to Ferguson, the first thing he wanted to do was give it a Yuma name.
Ferguson and Eaton said they talked with people around town, including MCAS Col. Robert Kuckuk and Linda Jordan, director of Yuma Visitor's Bureau. It was Jordan's input, Ferguson said, that was particularly valuable.
“Her interpretation was being a desert rat is a badge of honor,” Ferguson said. “I wish I could remember that saying, that you have to be tough enough in the summer to enjoy the winter, or something like that. That's the connotation of what desert rat means.”
The team also has begun selling both season ticket plans and corporate marketing packages. For more information, contact Eaton at 246-3337 or Ferguson at 561-662-9028.