Here They Are: The Rocket City Trash Pandas


Casey Kula, Writer

After weeks of intense waiting, the Madison baseball team’s new team name was announced to the public: the Rocket City Trash Pandas.

The question some are asking is, why Trash Pandas? Starting their first season in 2020, this baseball team’s name was thought up by Matthew Higley. Many think Higley considered this idea because of a scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, while others concluded that it was all a joke, but that was not his idea whatsoever when he came up with it.

As mentioned on, Higley thought the mascot needed to be something that represented Madison. “No creature in our galaxy is as smart, creative, determined and ingenious a problem solver – dedicated to the challenge at hand – as our local raccoons!”

Even with his explanation, people still have considered it a joke and are not taking it seriously. People have voted for it because they thought it sounded funny, while others do not know what a trash panda actually is.

“It is a joke. Something to get people interested in baseball again,” stated senior Michelle Le Roy. Though, some contradicted that idea.

Senior Jessie Sloan noted, “The name didn’t remind me of Madison, but I also didn’t think that it was a joke.” Even while some of the public believe this to be a name that represents Madison, Alabama, it definitely did not show well to the rest of the country.

The former Mobile BayBears, who are now the name Trash Pandas, have inserted a notice in the national news. Fox Sports mentioned their opinions on the name during a Los Angeles Angel’s Game mostly identifying this name as unique. On the Late Late Show with James Corden, Corden commented the name as a “crazy name for a sports team.”

The Late Late Show also imagined what the Trash Panda’s mascot would look like in a comedic way. On Fox Sports, it was stated that Rocket City loves their raccoons, but besides this baseball team name, people do not normally converse about his or her love of raccoons in the Madison area.

“Who wants to be called ‘trash?’” questioned Le Roy. Madison City might have gotten noticed by the public, but would simply prefer to be noticed by something of greater honor than having an out of this world baseball team name.

While people in the community are questioning the term ‘trash panda,’ others questioned Ball Corps LLC. on why the team is the ‘Rocket City Trash Pandas’ and not the ‘Madison City Trash Pandas.’

If someone were to look up the words ‘rocket city’ in Google Search, he or she would find themselves identifying that Madison is never mentioned in that term. Rocket City is Huntsville, Alabama, not Madison, Alabama.

Junior Sally Yeardley mentioned, “Well, while this is strange, it is a more widely recognized name for this general area. ‘Rocket City’ for most people is Northern Alabama, even though it has ‘city’ in the name. Though, I do think it would be more fitting by far for a Huntsville team versus a Madison one. It is not entirely wrong for Madison to be named after ‘Rocket City,’ it is just unnatural and strange.”

In the lease agreement, it states that Madison would pay 40% on utilities while BallCorps would pay 60%.

Information on the lease evaluated that if BallCorps LLC chose a prefix name other than ‘Madison,’ the Council would have to approve and if the name was changed the percentage on utilities would change.

These utilities include that of electricity, gas, water, sanitary and storm sewers, garbage and trash collection, wi-fi, cable, and telephone services. So, in conclusion, since the team is not called the Madison City Trash Pandas, BallCorps will now have to pay 75% no matter what, which is identified in the lease’s penalty clause.

Do I believe Madison could have come up with a better name for the baseball team? Absolutely, but I understand the entire reason for the name is to have North Alabama entertained by baseball once again.

The Madison baseball team is a way for our city to come together and just enjoy a baseball game, even if someone were to dislike the name or not. Prepare yourself, folks, because in 2020, the Rocket City Trash Pandas will begin to play near you.