A New Minor League Baseball Team Name and Mascot Is an Homage to ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’
When the Los Angeles Angels’ AA League team, the Mobile BayBears, relocates to Madison, Alabama in 2020, they will get a new and extremely marvelous makeover. They will become the Rocket City Trash Pandas.
Marvel isn’t involved in this team in any way. And the phrase “trash panda” predates its usage in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 by several years throughout the interwebs. But “trash pandas” have nothing to do with space; it’s just a mean internet thing to say about a raccoon. The T.P.s didn’t really get that spacey flavor until Peter Quill used the term to insult Rocket in Guardians Vol. 2. And dig the Rocket City Trash Pandas’ logos and mascot. It’s not just a raccoon — it’s a raccoon wearing a space suit and zooming around on a rocket ship. (Not to mention the fact that they are the Rocket City Trash Pandas, as opposed to the Madison Trash Pandas.)
Here’s the scene from Guardians 2 where Peter calls Rocket a trash panda:
AL.com credits Matthew Higley of Lacey’s Spring, Alabama with suggesting Trash Pandas as the team’s name. I don’t know if he is a Marvel fan or not. He said the name was well-suited to the region because the area “is known for engineering, and 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!" In our galaxy, eh?
Whatever Mr. Higley’s motivation, he has given Marvel nerds a gift: A new team to support forever, and a new favorite baseball hat to wear to conventions. Speaking of which, while the team doesn’t debut for two years, you can already buy their official merch at the aptly named TrashPandas.MiLBStore.com. I can’t wait to hear those distinctive team cheers, “Let’s go Trash Pandas! [clap clap clapclapclap]” and “Trash! Pan! Das! Trash! Pan! Das!”
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