For Pete's Sake

How the Braves’ newest minor league baseball team got the name Florida Fire Frogs

The logos for the Atlanta Braves’ new high-A team, the Kissimmee Fire Frogs.
The logos for the Atlanta Braves’ new high-A team, the Kissimmee Fire Frogs.

We love baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and…frogs?

Sounds about right.

The Atlanta Braves signed a four-year player development contract with the Florida State League last month, but they did not announce a name for the team at the time of the deal.

Well, the jury’s finally in. The Braves’ new high-A squad? The Florida Fire Frogs.

“If you look at minor league baseball teams and names and things like that, it is one of those ones that you don’t really see a lot of frogs as mascots,’’ Fire Frogs President Joe Harrington told the Orlando Sentinel. “We will do well here. Since I have been living a short time in Florida, I have seen a ton of them.’’

Makes sense.

The Frogs join an already long list of pro sports teams in Florida named after aquatic species: Miami Dolphins, Miami Marlins, Charlotte Stone Crabs, Daytona Tortugas, Jupiter Hammerheads and Clearwater Threshers.

It was definitely time to throw an amphibian into the mix.

(Usually the Brevard County Manatees would be on that list, but they’ve gone the way of their namesake — extinction*. When the FSL announced its deal with Atlanta, it cut the Manatees and relocated the franchise to Osceola County Stadium.)

*Actually, manatees were removed from the endangered species list in January. We just had to be clever.

The desire to add more marine life to the Florida roster of mascots aside, the franchise did need a new name. They didn’t seem to want to bestow one without the public’s input, though, especially since Osceola County Stadium hasn’t housed a Class-A FSL team since the Kissimmee Cobras in 2000.

So Harrington and the then-unnamed FSL affiliate solicited ideas over the summer with the intention to award the fan who submitted the winning name a pair of 2017 season tickets.

Harrington told the Sentinel that several thousand votes came in, and his team had to narrow it down to six finalists. Fire Frogs reportedly received 80 percent of the vote.

Harrington also told the Orlando newspaper that Fire Frogs was actually a combination of two submissions: One fan suggested Fireflies, and another Coquís (coh-KEYS). Coquís are a species of frog native to Puerto Rico.

So here’s the burning question: Will the team hire someone to wear a fire frog suit? That would be lit.