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Danville baseball team introduces new name

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 1:09 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Danville’s minor league baseball team has rolled out a new name, the Danville Otterbots, replacing the Danville Braves.

According to team officials, the identity was “formed by ideas from fans and community members, and one that represents Danville and the Southside to the fullest extent.”

The team is set to usher in a new era of baseball and entertainment at American Legion Post 325 Field beginning this summer.

“When we got to Danville in January, the first thing we did was speak with members of City Council, local business owners and operators, leaders of civic organizations and nonprofits, and long-time fans of Danville Baseball. Those conversations made it very clear to us: the range of ideas for a new team identity was as wide as the Dan River and as far-reaching as the Appalachians,” said General Manager Austin Scher. “From there we started a two-week name-the-team community submission contest, during which we received over 600 name suggestions. From traditional, to modern, to outright wild and wacky--we saw the full spectrum of human imagination in those name submissions. Rather than choosing just one of those suggested names, we instead pulled several common themes and concepts to build an identity completely unique to Danville and the Southside.”

The name Otterbots comes from two themes the team heard in conversations with fans and saw in the name submission contest, according to team officials: the playfulness and symbolism of otters, and the future of STEM education and new industry across the southside.

The Otterbots’ primary blue is designed to “honor the Dan River and highlight the role it played in building the tobacco and textile industries that defined Danville for generations,” according to the team. The team’s secondary orange, featured in the otter’s eyes, is alligned with the color of the HOME sign, formerly above Dan River Fabrics, currently adorned in the River District on Main St.

The neon typeface, displayed on the team’s jerseys, is a tribute to two additional themes: the blur of the cars racing by at nearby speedways and race tracks, and the lights of Danville’s upcoming Caesars casino.

“We’re so grateful for the reception that we have received in Danville to this point, and are so pleased with the outcome from this community-driven process. Building an identity that involves so many different themes is truly remarkable,” said team owner and President Ryan Keur. “I’m so proud of Austin and know he’s going to continue to build a great team in Danville and further the mission of becoming a strong community steward.”

The community’s first chance to see the Otterbots in action will be Thursday, June 3, as the 2021 Appalachian League season kicks off in Danville. Made up of collegiate athletes from across the country, the revamped Appalachian League, led by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball, will see the Otterbots play 27 home games from June - August.

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