A crowd of school children at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School was on hand as the Double-A minor league affiliate of the New York Mets unveiled their new team identity on Thursday morning. The Binghamton Mets are now the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
The team narrowed down 1,500 fan submissions to six possible choices this summer: the Binghamton Bullheads, Gobblers, Rocking Horses, Rumble Ponies, Stud Muffins, or Timber Jockies.
The “Rumble Ponies” name is an homage to Binghamton’s history as the “Carousel Capital of the World,” a moniker that stems from local businessman and philanthropist George F. Johnson funding the construction of six carousels throughout the Binghamton area nearly a century ago, to be enjoyed free of charge by area residents.
“When I rode the carousels as a child every summer, I imagined they were wild stallions or untamed ponies. Now as a mother I watch my young sons do the same,” said Nicole, a longtime Binghamton resident who suggested the winning name. “These carousels of the Triple Cities were put here by men of industry from our local history for the community to enjoy, just like baseball.”
The team says Nicole’s inspiration for the name came from “The Carousel,” a children’s book written by Binghamton University professor Liz Rosenberg about carousel horses that sleep in the winter, but come to life in the spring.
The Rumble Ponies logo will feature an armored, white horse with a flame mane jumping free of the carousel, using Carousel Silver, Fire Red and Binghamton Blue as the team’s official colors. Players will wear a patch with a carousel horse sporting boxing gloves on their jersey sleeves.
“We will respectfully display the spirit of Binghamton and the entire Southern Tier throughout the Eastern League,” says team president John Hughes. “For the first time in a long time, the team will play with the word ‘Binghamton’ proudly displayed on the front of the jerseys.” The team uniforms will be unveiled closer to the start of the 2017 season, which opens on April 6th.
Merchandise featuring the new Rumble Ponies team identity is now available at BingRP.com and at the ballpark, NYSEG Stadium, where the team store is open until 5pm today, 9am-5pm tomorrow, and 10am-2pm on Saturday.
Nicole, the Binghamton mom who suggested the new name, has been awarded season tickets for life and will get the first home jersey produced for the team.