News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron General

Hennes Paynter Communications

Northeast Ohio Medical University


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Sports


Akron Aeros become the Rubber Ducks
A nod to the city's history and an aquatic fit with Canal Park stadium.
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
(L to R) Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, team owner Ken Babby, team GM Jim Pfander.
Courtesy of MARK URYCKI
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Akron’s Minor League baseball team is changing its name – again. New owner Ken Babby took over the double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians one year ago today. The new name is tied to Akron’s history with rubber and toys.

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:11)


The Minor League franchise suffered some embarrassment when it moved from Canton to downtown Akron in 1997 and then-owner Mike Agganis announced he would call the team the Blast, with a mascot named Kaboom.

It might have flown had he not talked about opening a small museum in the stadium dedicated to Akron astronaut Judy Resnik. She died in the explosion of the space Shuttle Challenger in 1986.

After reporters pointed that out, the team quickly renamed the team the Aeros.  

Canal rats, rubber ducks and cats
Now a new owner, Ken Babby, has come in, making new investments in Canal Park and he’s renaming the team the Akron Rubber Ducks. The team’s red cat mascot Orbit, will remain.

"We are not turning our backs on the Aeros brand. We love the great history of that brand over the last 17 years. You'll still see Orbit at games. That's a really important part of it. This is an evolution for our franchise.”   

The new name harkens back not only to the city’s tire industry but its toy history. The world’s first rubber ducks were made in Akron.  The name was actually suggested a few years ago by fans. 

“Some of the names we were looking at were Tire Jacks," says team General Manager Jim Pfander. "And we were looking at a rabbit mascot. Canal Rats was another name that had been thrown out there before in some previous contests.  We also looked at Vulcans.” 

The team logo includes tire treads and an angry rubber duck. The new team colors are (tire) black and yellow and blue and orange. New uniforms will be unveiled next month. 

Listener Comments:

I heard your broadcast of this story on my way to work. When I discussed it with my co-workers later, they were quite fascinated with the history of the previous names and the origin of the new one. I found it even more fascinating that when I went online to verify the report, your station was the only one that had done the research to make this story interesting. The other reports from CBS, Cleveland Online and FOX8 simply emphasized the dislike of the name by Akron residents and couldn't even verify when or how they came up with the name. Thank you NPR and WKSU for a thorough and informative report… as pleasantly expected.


Posted by: Justin Foster (Diamond) on October 30, 2013 3:10AM
the name just sucks


Posted by: Anonymous on October 29, 2013 11:10AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Canton's proposed Timken-McKinley school merger is drawing spirited debate
From a sports opinion Varsity would have a lot more talent to choose from So Im sure varsity sports would improve.Also Timkens name would be much more published...

Canton school board will decide whether to merge high schools
I really hope we can save those jobs, usually we try to cut budgets but the demand is still the same. Then we look bad a year or two after the descion is made. ...

FirstEnergy wants PUCO guarantees on nuclear and coal prices
Would just comment that the plant has admitted the following (as reporting in the Akron Beacon Journal): "The utility has said it may have difficulty keeping t...

Mozzarella's easy when you have a way with curd
Hello, Where can I get such a heater that you have? Does it hold temperature that you set? What brand and model is it? Thank you in advance!! :)

Pluto: A healthy LeBron James is the key for the rocky Cavs
It's time to back our Cleveland professional teams through thick and thin. I've seen management, players and coaches come and go and it hasn't changed a thing. ...

Legal marijuana group offers new details about ballot issue
Americans feel as if they should have the right to decide on their own if and when it is or is not a responsible time to have a drink or smoke a joint. The fac...

The PUCO is assessing what happened in Akron's AT&T outage
not the first time for that steam pipe break... happened in the late 70's when the office was being converted to electronic switch ESS.. was a big mess then but...

The freeze of green-energy standards hurts Ohio wind and solar industries
What do we do at night and when the wind isn't blowing? Where does the power come from to back-up these renewable sources?

Gov. Kasich may still face budget battles with Ohio lawmakers
Governor Kasich continues to disappoint many of us who voted for him when he was elected Governor four years ago. It is way past time for charter schools to b...

FairlawnGig could bring super-fast fiber optic internet to the city
Sign me up! When can we have it. It is not nice to tease us with the possibility and then make us wait. Though I have to add that the speed to China does req...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University