Joplin's professional baseball team is one-step closer to stepping on the mound. Today the team announced the winner of it's "Name the Team" contest, and revealed the organization's logo.
Joplin has been waiting months to hear the name of its new independent professional team. The contest was announced in January, but now has closed.
"This contest was very extended, and we got a lot of responses. I know people from different states that were doing it so it was definitely a nation wide approach." says Shawn Suarez, General Manager of the now, Joplin Blasters.
"We threw the name in the hat, and out came the Joplin Blasters Baby!" says Cliff Mansley.
Mansley, the contest grand prize winner, tried to incorporate Joplin's past with Joplin's future.
"I kept thinking [Joplin] Miners, you know, it's been around a long time. How can we tie the old with the new? Well if you're a miner, you're blasting things. And if you're going to baseball, you want to have a blast. So the Joplin Blasters made a lot of sense to me." Mansley says, excitedly.
The team's logo consists of a black, gold and gray design, with a miner displayed proudly.
Mansley submitted two names in the contest, but the Blasters was the one he knew would fit best.
"The other one was The Joplin Dynamite. And that was okay. A lot of people I talked to said it's not as much fun as the Blasters. And another friend of mine said hey why not the JoMO Mojo." Mansley says.
As the team comes together, so do the projects on Joe Becker Stadium where the team will be playing, starting in 2015.
The Joplin City Council heard proposals on renovations for the stadium, and officials say they need to begin now.
"The big step for us is getting Joe Becker revitalized and that's kind of a new, since there's been a slight turnover in city council this is kind of our chance to update them on what's going on on our side." Suarez says.
Included in the upgrades are expansions of the bleachers and seating along the first and third baselines.
Developers hope to begin the upgrades soon.