Burlington, Vermont’s minor league baseball team is changing its name, on a part-time basis.
The Vermont Lake Monsters, a short-season single-A affiliate of the Oakland As, is about to add a second identity this weekend.
The team will still be the Lake Monsters for most games, but occasionally will go by The Maple Kings, starting at Saturday’s home game.
“Who doesn’t like maple syrup?” asked Joe Doud, the general manager of the Vermont Lake Monsters.
Doud said while minor league baseball has long been known for creative promotions, this one is more meaningful because it’s meant to remind baseball fans out-of-state that maple syrup is in Vermont’s DNA.
The state again dominated U.S. production of the all-natural delicacy this season, with nearly 2-million gallons.
After this weekend’s debut, the Maple Kings name will be used at select games on the road, including at an upcoming game in Brooklyn.
In those out-of-state games, the team hopes the moniker will reinforce Vermont’s reputation as both a leader in the food sector and with travelers looking for a fall foliage destination.
“Anything that we can do to promote the Vermont name from a tourism standpoint is positive,” Doud told necn.
Anson Tebbetts, the secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, said he appreciates the way the baseball team is celebrating the maple industry and honoring the hard work of maple producers.
Tebbetts called maple critical to the state’s agriculture sector.
“We’ve got a lot of maple, we’ve got to get it across the state border lines, get it into the big markets–the Bostons, the New Yorks, the Philadelphias–and international markets,” Tebbetts said. “And this is a way to have a little fun with it, but with a serious message that maple is king.”
For locals who’ve come to love their Lake Monsters, the team promises all their favorite game day traditions will stay in this new era of the Maple Kings.