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The Wichita Wind Surge is the newest team to become part of the Pacific Coast League. The Marlins Triple-A affiliate unveiled its new mascot on Wednesday.
The Miami Marlins newest Triple-A affiliate finally has a mascot to call its own. The Wichita Wind Surge was finally born Wednesday night after a much-awaited unveiling by the team’s front office. The move by the Marlins to Wichita after making New Orleans home ends a 12-year drought of minor league baseball in the community.
“The Wind Surge will play in a brand new ballpark, which is being constructed on the same site where Lawrence-Dumont Stadium once stood. That venerable facility, built in 1934 and demolished in 2018, hosted a variety of professional baseball teams over a span of more than eight decades,” writes Benjamin Hill of MiLB.com.
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“Those teams including the Aeros of the Triple-A American Association (1970-84) and, most recently, the Wranglers. That Texas League entity departed following the 2007 season; from 2008-18, Wichita was home to an independent league team called the Wing Nuts.”
Last season, the New Orleans Baby Cakes had a roster of future Marlins. Monte Harrison and Nick Neidert headlined a list of players looking to call Miami home. Robert Dugger, Elieser Hernandez, Isan Diaz, Lewis Brinson, and Austin Dean all spent significant time on the parent club’s 25-man roster and figure to be part of the 26 men who have a role with the team starting on Opening Day.
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Per Hill, “Wind Surge assistant general manager Bob Moullette said Wichita is at a unique point in its history and that the new ballpark is a core aspect of a period of rapid growth and reinvention. The team name, in short, is an indication of the city “exponentially surging forward.”
Wichita will continue to play in the Pacific Coast League, and be part of the 16-team league for the 2020 season. The Wind Surge is part of a minor league system that was ranked fourth overall by MLB.com.
“The Marlins have improved their system more than any other organization has over the course of 2019. They added Sixto Sanchez in the J.T. Realmuto trade, took (JJ) Bleday with the fourth overall pick as the start of a high-upside Draft crop and made sneaky-good Deadline deals for Jesus Sanchez and (Jazz) Chisholm,” Jim Callis wrote.
“A number of players already on hand took positive steps forward in their development, including Diaz (who homered in his MLB debut on Monday), Harrison, right-hander Edward Cabrera and left-handers Braxton Garrett and Trevor Rogers.”
While in New Orleans last season, the BabyCakes finished 73-65 for the season, which was 10 games back in the American Southern Division.
“Moullette is one of several high-ranking Wichita front office members who moved with the team from its previous home of New Orleans,” Hill wrote. “When New Orleans rebranded prior to the 2017 season, it changed its name from Zephyrs to Baby Cakes. That irreverent moniker and corresponding logo set, designed by Brandiose, is a far cry from the Wind Surge’s more traditional and sober-minded aesthetic.”