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The Phillies’ Double-A team will now be called the Fightin Phils

Nov 17, 2012, 2:40 PM EDT

After 46 years of being known simply as the Reading Phillies, the longest affiliation in the minor leagues, the Phillies’ Double-A affiliate will have a new name for 2013 and beyond. According to Benjamin Hill of, the team announced today that they will be called the Reading Fightin Phils. Of course, along with a new name comes new uniforms…and a new logo.


Yes, it’s an ostrich. This may seem like an odd choice on the surface, but it’s a nod to their popular Crazy Hot Dog Vendor, who rides a stuffed ostrich onto the field and throws hot dogs into the stands. Here he is in action. The name change has been met with protest and anger in some circles, but Fightin Phils general manager Scott Hunsicker explained that the rebranding effort is about attracting young fans and forging their own identity.

“There’s a lot of fun to be had with a large flightless bird, in the same way that the [Lehigh Valley] IronPigs and [Richmond] Flying Squirrels have a lot of fun with their names,” Fightin Phils general manager Scott Hunsicker said in a telephone conversation prior to the official announcement. “It’s the sort of thing that can get families excited and kids excited, with the goal being to get more kids to fall in love with baseball.”

Oh, and for their parents to purchase all the new merchandise.

  1. deathmonkey41 - Nov 17, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    What the hell kind of bird is that?

    • D.J. Short - Nov 17, 2012 at 2:46 PM

      An ostrich with fists. Pretty common in southeast PA, I gather.

      • natstowngreg - Nov 17, 2012 at 5:08 PM

        Looks more like an emaciated turkey.

        But hey, like Scranton-Wlkes Barre, they didn’t recycle some other team’s animal. And it’s fighting (I guess), fitting the trend in selling merchandise to the adolscent boy demographic.

  2. bigleagues - Nov 17, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    THAT is BRILLIANT! I love it!

    Scott Hunsicker is one of the two or three most respected GM’s in Minor League Baseball. And he’s a fun guy to hang out and have beers with.

    I just wish they spelled Fightin with a ‘ph’. I like the visual continuity.

    • indaburg - Nov 17, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      I agree–my first thought was that they mispelled Phightin’. Other than that, it’s awesome.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 17, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Having the line of text break between “crazy hot” and “dog vendor” gave me the impression I was about to see some sultry bikini babe handing out puppies. Perhaps I would have enjoyed the linked picture more if it wasn’t such a disappointment.

  4. proudlycanadian - Nov 17, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Are the Fightin’s going to hire some former Broad Street Bullies as advisers?

    • ml3939 - Nov 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      Must be lonely north of the border without professional sports year round. Don’t even try and argue that the Raptors are a professional team.

  5. snowbirdgothic - Nov 17, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Suddenly the rabid beaver humping a railroad tie over in Scranton looks like a much more reasonable design choice.

    • historiophiliac - Nov 17, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      Put up your dukes! C’mon, c’mon. Put ’em up, you lily-livered varmint-lover, you!

    • natslady - Nov 17, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      Designed by the same company. Also, this:

      • historiophiliac - Nov 17, 2012 at 8:25 PM


        That’s the meanest asparagus I’ve ever seen!

  6. luvtexas614 - Nov 17, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Not liking it. It’s silly and makes a joke of our Phillies. Can’t tell me it’s not about money and selling more merchandise. So sad for a wonderful farm team.

    • natstowngreg - Nov 17, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      Of course it’s about selling merchandise. It’s also about a Minor League team drawing attention to itself. Of all the pro and college franchises in the Philly market, the Reading Phillies are, no doubt, near the bottom in terms of visibility.

      • bigleagues - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:44 PM

        BUT, because of Hunsicker and his mentor and predecessor, Chuck Domino, the Reading franchise has been built into one of the powerhouse MILB franchises, consistently among attendance leaders in Double A and have even consistently outdrawn a number of AAA franchises each year.

    • historiophiliac - Nov 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

      I’d laugh that you’re defending the dignity of a minor league affiliate, but my local one is pretty cool, so I don’t want to hate. I wouldn’t really want an ostrich either.

    • bigleagues - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:49 PM

      Minor League Baseball is ALL about the money. Their franchises. The players are provided by the MLB affiliate. So all MILB franchises do is run a business.

      And no offense but lighten up. MILB is about family entertainment. It’s supposed to be silly and fun. If the MLB Phillies had done this, then you’d have me 100% on your side. I’m a Red Sox fan who thinks Wally The Green Monster is the most demeaning thing I’ve ever seen in sports. But MiLB is a far different creature.

      Not everyone will like it, but I’m willing to bet that this will become a very popular team mark in short order.

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 17, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    And the entire team was just traded to the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton.

  8. barrywhererufrom - Nov 17, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    As a Phil myself I approve of the nickname..but an ostrich? what the heck is that about?

    • bigleagues - Nov 17, 2012 at 10:08 PM

  9. greymares - Nov 17, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Playing in Reading the stabbing phils or the shooting phils would be more appropriate

  10. baseballbarrister - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    The Eastern League now has mascots including a fighting ostrich and flying squirrel. This creativity and focus on making the game fun for the whole family is why its easy to love minor league baseball.

  11. crisisjunky - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Not just boys, but imagine the excitement in the whole rural male demographic
    generated by a seventh inning head to head match-up with the Mudhen.
    A Mascot Cockfight might be a really good summer diversion plan for Mike Vick.

    But… here’s hoping the organization doesn’t go hide it’s head in the second division.

  12. Utley's Hair - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    This was a colossal waste of money.

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