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Fort Smith picks a new baseball name


If a person wants to see a varied past of a city, then Fort Smith is a place to visit.

There is more history in this town than a lot of states can brag about.

One more piece of history to add to the city will be the addition of a minor league baseball team.

When Major League Baseball started to delete teams from its camp of more than 100 teams a few years ago, new leagues began to pop up to help communities save the teams that they had.

A new league will play this spring called the Mid-America League. The league is trying to get six teams to start the spring season, but it only has four at this time.

Joining the league is a team from Abilene, Sherman and White Oak. Those are all Texas cities. Fort Smith is the only Arkansas team. That kinda reminds me of the old days of the Southwest Conference when the Razorbacks were the seventh flag over Texas.

I do know where Abilene and Sherman are located. I don’t have a clue where White Oak is, but I am interested.

After a quick click on the team, it took me to a map that showed the location of the stadium that they will use for play.

What got my attention was the Roughneck Donut Shop and Moe’s Pizza along with Whataburger. All three restaurants were within a couple of blocks from the stadium.

The names got my attention along with the fact that there are donuts and pizza there.

White Oak has not named its mascot yet, but the other three teams have with Fort Smith naming their squad on Thursday.

Abilene has an interesting name. It is not just Bison, it is the Flying Bison.

I have an eight — oops —nine-year grandson Abram Henry as he turned nine on Saturday, that knows about Flying Bison. I don’t know if the Abilene mascot comes from Minecraft or the Flying Bison Brewery Company.

Sherman has a little mystery to its name. Sherman’s team is the Shadowcats. I don’t know what that is, but I guess they prey upon people’s shadows.

Fort Smith allowed voting by residents to determine the mascot for its team.

There were five names to select from in the voting. Lawmen, Judges, Gunslingers, Outlaws and Marshals were the choices. Each one paid tribute to the city of Fort Smith.

Fans selected the Marshals as the mascot.

The Fort Smith Marshals is a solid name. The team announced that it was an overwhelming popular pick.

Currently, the plans are for the team to use a preexisting stadium for the first two seasons. The city of Fort Smith is building a new stadium that will open by the 2026 season. The new stadium is on Riverfront Drive.

No schedule has been released for the league. The teams will play 68 games as they are looking for a team from Oklahoma and Louisiana to complete the conference.

When the season starts, it looks like Becky and I will be making a trip to Fort Smith to see the Marshals. I need to add gear to my collection.

I have got some great shirts and hats from some great team names. I need to add Marshals to my rotation.

Jeff Brasel is the sports and managing editor of the Newton County Times. E-mail him at sports@newtoncountytimes.com or follow him at twitter.com/jeffbrasel.