WMBL team renamed to honour rich history

Swift Current’s Western Major Baseball League baseball team has been renamed to represent the rich history of baseball in Swift Current.

“The name ‘57’s’ was chosen to honor the legacy of the 57 seasons that Swift Current has used the mascot name the ‘Indians’ while competing all over Western Canada, dating as far back as the 1940’s,” announced senior baseball advisor Harv Martinez at a press conference Tuesday.

“The name is a tribute to each person whose various influences have helped shape the organization resulting in numerous successes, championships, endless fan memories, and a deep felt sense local pride. This name intends to honour the past while still providing ample opportunity to re-brand and market more creatively into the future,” Martinez continued.

Martinez said they started with nearly 100 potential new team names and eventually whittled it down to a manageable number. Those options were pitched on social media and were met with considerable feedback from those concerned that the history of the team was being lost.

“What we found was that there is a considerable difference between renaming an organization that has a history and naming an organization from scratch,” admitted Martinez.

Martinez said that former local player Cole Armstrong eventually pitched the idea of a number reflecting the team’s rich history.

The team also unveiled a new logo as they abandoned their traditional red, white and blue colours, for a new forest green, orange, and white colour scheme.

The team announced their intentions to rename themselves in early October, which kick started a lengthy process for the re-naming committee. The committee received numerous ideas, opinions, and heart-felt responses Swift Current and the Southwest area. Martinez said they also had plenty of input from former players, coaches, billets, board members, and volunteers.

“The information we received made it clear that the baseball community in Swift Current is passionate, and the team that represents the city of Swift Current and its residents in the WMBL has a profound place in the hearts and minds of those who live or who have lived in Swift Current,” said Martinez.

“The sense of community pride was described fittingly by Coach [Joe] Carnahan in an open letter to the fans through social media. He outlined the three pillars that have, over time, come to typify the organization: The Players, The Volunteers, and The Community of Swift Current. Each of the pillars has been integral to the club’s success, and without all three the organization would not have achieved the unprecedented achievements on the field and in the community. As Coach Carnahan noted, ‘We are all a part of the 57’s—we are all part of Swift Current’s team!'”

The Swift Current Indians had an amazing 2016 season when they won the East Division with a 33-15 record before winning all nine games in the playoffs to win the WMBL championship.

The Swift Current 57’s will open the 2017 WMBL regular season on June 1 against the Moose Jaw Miller Express at Mitchell Field.

“As we move forward now each time our players take the field they will represent the three pillars of the organization, both from our past and into the future. And although the name has changed, we are all Swift Current baseball and have been for 57 seasons,” Martinez concluded.