Fans React as Yankees Announce New Name

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SCRANTON -- At Kelly’s Pub, it was a packed house as folks flocked out for the famous Wednesday night wing special.

They got some added entertainment too, as diners watched the brand new name for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees be announced live on Newswatch 16 at 6:00 p.m.

The Triple-A team is now the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

Many said they could see the sense behind it.

“You have the Lackawanna Station down there and the Trolley Museum with the trains and everything so in that respect, yeah,” said Joe Zaccone of Old Forge.

“The RailRiders, it’s right by the railroad and we have Steamtown which will help,” said Mary Bleu of Scranton.

The name was chosen through a contest launched in May with fans having the final say through on-line voting.

RailRiders beat out the Blast, Black Diamond Bears, the Fireflies, the Porcupines and the Trolley Frogs.

“I liked the Black Diamond Bears better, sorry,” said Lou Boino of Scranton.

Others were just plain confused over the logo.

“RailRiders will be fine, but what’s the animal that they had on the picture?” asked Jim Togher of Scranton. “It looked like a porcupine. I don’t know what that has to do with being the RailRiders.”

The team said it is indeed a porcupine, with the animal getting the most votes during the contest.

Whether they loved the name or hated it, most people said the contest shows a good-faith gesture by the franchise.

The new names come with a new stadium set for the 2013 season, and many feel the teams is reaching out to baseball fans.

“They want to involve the area, they want the people in the area involved, in that respect I think it will,” said Zaccone.

“Keep the fans there and get some season ticket holders to even show up,” said Togher.

This is the second straight season the team has had a name change.

Last season the team played home games on the road as the Empire State Yankees.

Visit the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders website by clicking here.