By Calvin Dudley SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS)- Professional baseball team’s in Syracuse have been called the Chiefs, or SkyChiefs, since 1934. This long standing-tradition ended Tuesday as Syracuse’s minor league team officially changed their name to the Mets, the same name as the Major League Baseball (MLB) team that owns them.
The New York Mets purchased the Syracuse Chiefs this Spring from the Washington Nationals. The Mets announced they would change the name to Mets, but wanted to wait until the end of the season to make the change as to avoid having the awkward situation of having future Nationals players wearing Mets jerseys.After the Chiefs changed to the Mets on Tuesday, many fans had mixed reactions.
Michael Tricarico, the Assistant Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Mets, said he understands that some people are upset that the team dropped their 84 year-old name. However, Tricarico also thinks that with time, fans will learn to love the the new name.
“If you’re not excited right now that it’s ‘Mets’. Give it some time. Take a look at the merchandise. And, while it might feel uncomfortable to say the Syracuse ‘Mets’ right now just because this team has been the Chiefs for so long, give it some time,” said Tricarico.
While the team seems optimistic of the name, local resident, Christopher Seeberger, says he’s not thrilled.
“The fact that they have to make the name Mets… feels like a power move. I like that a lot of other minor league teams…use more colloquial names,” said Seeberger.
Seeberger is a life-long Mets fan. He said he likes that the team is now owned by the Mets because now he gets to see his team’s future players. The name Mets, however, he wishes was more creative and local, such as The Salt-Potatoes, or The Freeze.
Although Seeberger and other fans are not satisfied with their new team name, they can still get Chiefs gear in the team’s official store. There were also some talks of moving the team from Syracuse, but fans can sleep soundly after the team signed a contract to stay in the Salt city through 2043.