Braves’ Triple-A affiliate rebranded as Gwinnett Stripers

GWINNETT, Ga. — Say hello to the Gwinnett Stripers.

The Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A affiliate began the process of renaming itself six months ago and Friday, that process came to a close, as general manager North Johnson proclaimed “ladies and gentlemen, I present your Gwinnett Stripers,” while the team’s logo was unveiled.

As Hall of Fame former Braves GM John Schuerholz put it as he took in the cartoon bass, which is in midst of biting a hooked baseball, “that’s a mean-looking fish.”

The name ties into Gwinnett County’s fishing at Lake Lanier, which includes striped bass, and Johnson said “we will honor that outdoor tradition while sporting a unique identity that fans across the region can embrace.”

Seeking to differentiate themselves from the nearby MLB club, Gwinnett sought out a more individualized name. The club received a total of 4,024 submissions from fans and over 900 different names during a May contest, with voting coming down to six finalists: Big Mouths, Buttons, Gobblers, Hush Puppies, Lambchops and Sweet Teas.

Stripers was missing from that list. But along with online voting, a selection committee was used that decided on Big Mouths, which served as the inspiration for the new name.

“We felt focusing on the striped bass would better reflect our community, with Lake Lanier known as a premier destination for striped bass fishing and located just a short drive away from Coolray Field,” Johnson said. “The Stripers name perfectly fits the region while also having a timeless baseball feel.”

The color palette includes a neon “Striper Green,” along with navy and red that are Braves staples. The Striper logo will appear on the team’s home cap, with the road versions including the mascot popping out of the middle of a home-plate shaped like a G.

Four jersey combinations were also unveiled, including a solid green jersey and a pinstriped model. Johnson was followed on stage by current Braves right-handed pitcher Lucas Sims, utility man Matt Tuiasosopo, outfielder Xavier Avery and HOF pitcher Phil Niekro.

“I think they look good,” said Braves right-handed pitcher Lucas Sims, a Gwinnett County native. “They’re bright, they’re vibrant.”

The Stripers, who had been the Gwinnett Braves since 2009, join the High-A Florida Fire Frogs as the only Atlanta affiliate not carrying the Braves moniker, which is shared by the teams in Mississippi, Rome and Danville.

Follow Cory McCartney on Twitter @coryjmccartney and Facebook. His books, ‘Tales from the Atlanta Braves Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Braves Stories Ever Told,’ and ‘The Heisman Trophy: The Story of an American Icon and Its Winners.’ are now available.