Vote to name RVA’s new baseball team (Also: WTF?)

So… The Times-Dispatch has released the reader-submitted names for Richmond’s new baseball team. Here they are, in all of their WTF glory… Richmond Rock Hoppers (Because people hop on rocks on Belle Island sometimes, I guess?) Richmond Rhinos (Maybe this makes sense because Richmond is really old. Or… nah, I got nothin’.) Richmond Flatheads (After […]


The Times-Dispatch has released the reader-submitted names for Richmond’s new baseball team. Here they are, in all of their WTF glory…

Richmond Rock Hoppers
(Because people hop on rocks on Belle Island sometimes, I guess?)

Richmond Rhinos
(Maybe this makes sense because Richmond is really old. Or… nah, I got nothin’.)

Richmond Flatheads
(After a quick wikipedia search, I found that this could refer to the screwdriver, an engine, a Native American nation, a family of fish, a medical condition caused by remaining in one position too long, or a song by The Fratellis. Of course.)

Richmond Flying Squirrels
(Due to Richmond’s love of all things deceptively cute/terrifying.)

Richmond Hambones
(Clearly because of the ham. This is the only one I kind of get, although I personally would have preferred “Ham biscuits.”)

I really don’t know what else to say. Perhaps you all have some input…


The T-D has finally shed a little light on the origin of these suggestions:

Flatheads: a kind of catfish commonly found in the James River.

Flying Squirrels: soar in Virginia.

Hambones: paying homage to Virginia ham.

Rock Hoppers: people or animals on river rocks.

Rhinos: alliteration featuring a powerful image.

Resume your conversation…

Another update

Check out this interview with the franchise’s CEO, Chuck Domino. Here are a couple comments of note:

“We got a lot of names that made me yawn, a lot of names that would have been very popular,” said Domino. “We could have said ‘Rapids.’ We could have said ‘Rebels.’ We could have said ‘Virginians.’

“But to me, totally boring, not what we represent. We represent obtuse, fun, off-beat, you name it. We’re not your grandfather’s minor-league front office, I can guarantee you that.”

Yet another update

And we’ve got another one in the running…

The Richmond Hush Puppies.

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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Oh lord, I thought this was a joke until I clicked on the link. I like having a few “left field” options, but all five of these are a bit odd. Of the 5, I guess I would have to vote Rock Hoppers first, and Rhinos second, but only by default. I have no idea what Rhinos has to do with Richmond.

    I still think Richmond Re-treads is the best option, given our fondness for living in the past and recycling failed efforts.

  2. those are all terrible names. i’m not voting on any of them. i will also continue to not go to baseball games.

  3. That smarmy Richmond guy on said:

    Richmond Rhinos is fitting. Much like the horn on a wild rhinoceros, the name “Rhinos” comes from the tough, thick skin that covers the ears of any officials of the bureaucratic private or municipal organizations from listening to the public about ANYTHING related to creativity.

    I swear this city is more excited about being average than being exceptional.

  4. This feels like the name, Rock Hoppers, has already been chosen. The rest of these names feel like red herrings.

    I mean RIGHT? They can’t be legitimate.

  5. People should have been required to submit the reasoning behind their choices.

  6. Justin on said:

    Wait. I’m confused. Why is it not this:

    Seriously, someone please explain this to me. I am not joking. Like I didn’t submit it because I thought it would just happen without me.

  7. So Richmond botched the entire baseball thing for years. Now, we finally got a team back (which I really don’t care about), and we’re going to name it something terrible?

  8. The name I submitted, Richmond Rapids, was far superior to any of those… And it wasn’t great. I wonder who picked from the user submissions to make that list.

  9. Erik B on said:

    This is ridiculous. I agree with Justin.
    Or another historical option: Red Stockings–an homage to the only Virginia Negro League team in history, the Norfolk Red Stockings.

  10. The “Richmond FanGuys” would have been better.

  11. bcat on said:

    Wow. These are absolute garbage. So much for hometown pride.

  12. Eric on said:

    These names suck.. I really had high hopes for the new team.

  13. This seals the deal. How can you not pay homage to Virginia ham? And just think of all the commercial tie-ins. You could sell ham biscuits instead of hot dogs. You could have Ham Hock Night where the first 100 kids under 12 get a free ham hock to go play with at home. The possiblities are endless. Win.

  14. “I swear this city is more excited about being average than being exceptional.” – Very well put Smarmy Richmond Guy

    All of these names are bad. I would love to know who whittled the list down to these and why. Rock Hoppers or Rhinos will win, but can’t we come up with something a little more iconic and less wanky?

  15. Susan Howson on said:

    Because “hambone” is also the name for a performer in blackface!! BLACKFACE, PEOPLE!

    Also, I wouldn’t blame Richmonders for this — a couple of suits in the franchise head office is who picked them, not popular votes.

    Daniel – my husband submitted Richmond Rapids too! I thought Richmond Revolutionaries would be awesome just bc maybe there would be some guys in three-cornered hats. Shrug.

  16. Dougie on said:

    I also submitted the name “Richmond Rapids” because Richmond has some of the Best Rapids in the James River of any River on the East Coast that flows through a Major City.
    Rapids might not had been a great name and there is a Soccer Team named the RAPIDS and a Swimming Team here in Richmond named the RAPIDS.
    But I am still LMAFO at the 5 Final Names.
    I am putting my name out there to be THE MASCOT when the final one is picked.

  17. The more I read about the owners (30) of this franchise the more this is all probably a waste of time. They wont be here long.

  18. mattwhite on said:

    the “joke” names i submitted….(the richmond cigarettes, the richmond one-hitters) somehow don’t seem that far fetched anymore…..the final cut is embarrassing

  19. How about…hmmm…


  20. People seem to have forgotten that Richmond was founded by Flatheaded Rhinos with rock-hopping ham bones, who road to this fine land on Flying Squirrels…I think anyway.

  21. The RVA Newses.

  22. THE RICHMOND BLOGGERS. Eff why didn’t I submit that.

  23. bcat on said:

    I could cheer for the Richmond Rapids. On the other hand, I will definitely not be cheering for the Richmond Rhinos or the Richmond Hambones or the Flying Squirrels, for God’s sake. As a matter of fact, I’ll go out of my way to cheer for any team that plays against them. Let’s hear it for the Trenton Thunder.

  24. dickdelman on said:

    Susan, “hambone” is a good name, so we’re takin’ it back!

  25. I say we all go to the first game with homemade hats a shirts with the RVA News most popular name. We will refuse to call the team by any of the crap they have suggested and only refer to them as the winner of our own polls!

  26. mattwhite on said:

    yes! rvanews poll! that is genius!

  27. I am absolutely stunned by how truly bad these names ARE!!! I was so excited to get a team, now I am horrified. Are we REALLY going to sit in the stands wearing our fake rhino-horn-adorned baseball caps, waving a styro Rhino Horn wildly and snorting for the Rhino mascot as he lurches his way around the field, pretending to impale an offical? Rock Hoppers? Um, yeah, the cut-off-wearing drunk dudes who fall into the James every summer and either drown or get fished out by the local police? That’s got baseball written all over it. Flatheads? See Rock Hoppers. Hambones? See “blackface” and let that one die the death it should have died upon arrival. Flying Squirrels? That just might be the name the team owners deserve…but surely Richmond deserves better. I demand a recount!!!!

  28. Your name sucks on said:

    How about the Richmond Barking Spiders? No offense to University of Richmond, of course!

  29. Jennifer C. on said:

    The Boulevards
    The Monuments
    The White Flights
    The Gentrifyers
    The Carpetbaggers
    The Four Way Stop Signs

    I think I prefer catfish to hambones or squirrels, unless they’re flattened (which are also very common to central VA).

  30. Your name sucks on said:

    BTW – Richmond Rock Hoppers? Richmond Rockhopper sounds like a porn star’s name – Boom chicka wah wah!

  31. The Richmond Falcons!

  32. Throck on said:

    I am extremely excited about baseball back in Richmond. I was an avid fan of the Braves and will be a fan of this team, but why is the naming of a team so hard. Its easy look at the history, culture, and physical makeup of the area. I love the name rapids or even the confederates, I know a little uncouth but so is hambones. Even the Richmond Robins is better than the Rhinos. I beg that the ownership will at least try to make the city happy to support their team.

  33. Tommy Beekman on said:

    Let’s not forget that one of the top five names for the Washington Wizards when they changed their name was Sea Monkeys.

  34. man, you guys are the biggest bunch of bummers. loosen up a little.

  35. lynn kramer on said:

    richmond river dogs or richmond river rats

  36. Eric on said:

    Rapids and or the Falcons works for me…

  37. Pamela K. Truesdale on said:

    Richmond Ravens. Think of it, Poe raised here. Or Richmond Tell-Tale Hearts.

  38. Why not the Generals???? Monument Ave….??

  39. How about the Richmond 95ers….They’ll be right next to it….why not?

  40. George Abrams on said:

    How about the Richmond Capitols or Richmond Rebels

  41. I like all of the names. I have no idea what you guys are talking about.

  42. Lets name the team The Richmond Embarrassments and then nobody will have to figure out what they ‘re trying to say with those other names

  43. Judy on said:

    I think the name “Richmond Rocks” would be the best name.

  44. I think @mattjh2 might have the best suggestion of all: “Richmond Hipsters. Mascot is a dude in skinny jeans & artsy glasses who drinks PBR & whines about ridiculous team names.”

  45. Jerrilyn Ward on said:

    I think they should be called the Richmond Roadrunners! Cute mascot material there. Funny bird and brings life to the team. How do I get it to the powers that be?

  46. Tony Miller on said:

    The team should be called the rattlers/ rattlesnakes.
    They are smooth and graceful, yet dangerous and deadly. (a few types of rattlesnakes are found in virginia)
    A true sports fan would never come up with some of the suggestions ive heard thus far.

  47. Alice on said:

    While nominations have purportedly been closed for the new Richmond bball team. What do you think? The Richmond Riverrocks. The theme song could be The River (just because I LOVE the Boss – and he LOVES …Richmond as the first city outside of his hometown that embraced his music booking him frequently). The River would be featured in the name underscoring Richmond’s distinction as the only major city with a Class Three rapids (the rocks are the fall line which causes the rapids). Richmond was settled because of the fall line. The fans could be called the Rock heads (with big foam rock hats, or b-ball caps that look like rocks) or Rock Hoppers (a bow to one of the finalists). Think the strength of rocks. People throw them – Richmond boy gangs who threw rocks were mentioned frequently in pre-civil war news articles. They are tough – think rock hard abs. They’re sleek – when left in the river. They’re the foundation of everything. A give-away thrown into the crowd could be a foam rock that looks like a real one. The seat cushions would look like rocks. And then there is the other meaning – Richmond baseball ROCKS. The River ROCKS!!! The River Rocks ROCK!!

  48. Bonnie Huddle on said:

    How about the “Richmond Rattlesnakes”

  49. i know im late but wouldnt a fun name be richmond mountain cats?.we could make up jerseys and call the team the MOCATS

  50. These “names” are all loony. The Rapids would work, but why such idiotic names, and why is serious consideration being given to such awful names????

  51. Phil on said:

    I know it’s late, but the Richmond Ravens, in honor of Poe, would be my choice. I can’t imagine ever going to a game to see a team with any of those other names! Sorry, but I ain’t returning to the Diamond. And I have great memories of the Braves games there.

  52. Jason on said:

    I remember growing up in Rochester and was horrified when they chose Rhinos as the soccer team’s mascot. Not only Rhinos, but “The Rochester Raging Rhinos.” It’s still corny but just unique enough to stand out and I no longer cringe when I hear their name, actually it gives me some home town pride since they were pretty good for a while. So I would say that whichever goofy name is chosen it will be fine once people get used to it.

  53. Logan on said:

    It’s extremely obvious that all of these “debbie downers” are simply pissed that their name wasn’t chosen. Say what you want about the 5 chosen, at least they’re not boring and expected. The Richmond Rapids? Come on. That’s not just boring, it’s yawn inducing. It’s clear that Richmond is not a baseball town. Minor league baseball teams are supposed to have ridiculously goofy names, that’s part of the fun. Pull the stick out of your butts, drink a beer, and loosen the “F” up! Personally, I’m going for the Flying Squirrels. They are native to Virginia and are nocturnal…since the team will play mostly night games, it fits. Also, the merchandising to kids would be HUGE!

  54. bcat on said:

    Well, I guess we know who suggested “Flying Squirrels.”

  55. Liberty on said:

    Richmond Rastafarians

  56. It should be the “Richmond Revolutionaries” considering Richmond’s past. Of course, we’re not our grandparents team and nobody wants to start a revolution nowadays.

    Richmond Rhinos or Richmond Squirrels (without “Flying”) would be the most acceptable of the five presented. I would prefer a name that at least ties to Richmond (the only Rhinos are at the Zoo’s).

  57. Sue says: on said:

    What is the big deal about the name> Richmond Rapids would be more appropriate than anything else because baseball is a pitchers game on how fast he can sit down the batters. PROBLEM SOLVED…

  58. Kathleen Bandas on said:

    I think it should be the Richmond Rocketts or The Ravens is good too. I also like The Richmond Skylarks! We must get rid of those finalists. They are an embarrassment to the City.

  59. Eric on said:

    Richmond Rockets — I like this!!!

  60. we got some great ideas that make….the richmond rage or the richmond rafters or richmond rockers instead of rock hoppers instead of retrends it should be the renovators..or it could b the dogwoods and hav an atomic dog for the mascot..or just maybe they should reopen the contest and vote again.. theses r just some suggestions lets know how u feel…
    GO TEAM!!!!!

  61. Richmond Hushpuppies ummm delicious will they sell them at games?

  62. Really great information, I really enjoyed it!

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