The A-Advanced team of the Houston Astros that was moved from Bakersfield in California two years ago and then temporarily operated as the Buies Creek Astros in the Carolina League in the past two years, has presented its new look. The team will now be known as the Fayetteville Woodpeckers.
During a name-the-team contest, about forty names were entered. Eventually, five names remained: Fatbacks, Fly Traps, Jumpers, Wood Dogs and Woodpeckers. According to the management of the club, the final vote on the five names resulted in a clear preference for Woodpeckers, a name the management liked best as well.
The Woodpeckers name is also specific to the greater Fayetteville area, referring to the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, one of the initial species named when the Endangered Species Act of 1973 was passed. Once plentiful in Fayetteville and North Carolina, numbers of the red-cockaded woodpecker dwindled until city and Fort Bragg officials took measures to preserve habitats and apply best practices to boost the population. The Fort Bragg changes were extensive, as training grounds were shifted and nesting habitats marked to diminish impacts on the red-cockaded woodpecker. The actions taken by Fort Bragg leadership was particularly effective, Woodpeckers president Mark Zarthar said, earning it an award from the Pentagon, a model spread across 30 states. Today, the area is home to the second-largest population of endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers.
Luckily the birds are all over the base now. According to Zarthar, “It’s a smaller city when compared to Charlotte or Atlanta, but important, as we’re home to the world’s largest military installation,” comprising some 275,000 personnel.
Another factor that influenced the choice for the name Woodpeckers was the marketing element. In Major League Baseball some of the most popular brands are those that sport a bird: Blue Jays, Orioles, Cardinals.
Zarthar said. “We chose black and red as a tie to the woodpeckers, and we think they will be accepted well here because the military’s special forces sports the same colors.” Indeed, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, which is headquartered at Fort Bragg, carries the same colors on its insignia.
Then the uniforms. The home uniform is white with black as the only color. The home cap is black as well and it sports the head of a woodpecker. Playful detail are the holes in the “W” and the “S” of the word “Woodpeckers” as the bird has drilled some holes in it.
The head of the bird on the crown of the cap is mainly grey and white with a little touch of red on the crest.
The road uniform is a dark shade of grey and sports the name of the city Fayetteville on the front of the jersey. It also looks like as there are holes drilled in the “F”. The road cap is black with a red lid. The “F” on the crown of the road cap also has the same playful detail. The shade of grey is similar to the one of the Arizona Diamondbacks road jersey.
Personally, I am not sold on the uniforms. IMHO the club could have used a bit more colour. The caps are nice though although, I think as a contrast, red would have been a better option.