The Atlanta Braves have long carried the Braves moniker with most of their minor league teams. However, in 2018 their Triple-A affiliate decided to change their name from the Gwinnett Braves to the Gwinnett Stripers.
We learned on Friday afternoon that Atlanta's High-A affiliate, the Rome Braves will be changing their name after the 2023 season. Rome has been the High-A team for Atlanta since they moved the team from Macon in 2003.
I have fond memories of going to Macon Braves games when I was younger and getting to meet legends like Harmon Killebrew and Rafael Belliard at a couple of the games with my family. I was sad when they left for Rome which was farther from my home.
However, Rome has been a great location and has featured some great teams over the years. In their inaugural season in 2003, Rome won the South Atlantic League. They would repeat that again many years later in 2016 when players like Ronald Acuna Jr. and Max Fried were on the team.
This decision definitely caught some fans off guard and I'm sure there will be speculation as to why the change is happening. However, the organization indicated it is about re-branding the team to be more unique and special to the community they are housed within.
This is a very cool move and will allow for more opportunities for fans to have unique merch and something new to experience when visiting the team in Rome. Minor League Baseball has been more geared toward fun team names and keeping fans entertained. We have teams like the Jumbo Shrimp, Trash Pandas, and Yard Goats to name a few.
Fans will get the chance to have a more unique experience and it allows the community to feel like that team is special just to their area and not just an extension of the Atlanta Braves branding. Rome Professional Baseball is allowing fans to submit recommendations for the new name of the organization from August 11th to August 18th.
Submissions can be sent in on the team's website, or a form can be printed and mailed to the team. While change can be difficult, it's also an exciting opportunity for new experiences and memories. At the end of the day, that's what matters most.