Intimidators Announce New Name With Fanfare
The wait is over as the Big Reveal released Kannapolis’ rebranded baseball team…Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, or Ballers for short! The reveal was held Wednesday night inside the historic Gem Theatre in downtown Kannapolis.
The exciting news was announced by owner, Andy Sandler, and general manager, Matt Millward. A twenty-minute film was composed including the history of the Kannapolis Baseball team and the bygone times leading up to this moment.
Thousands of fans gathered inside the Gem theatre and outside surroundings to celebrate the new beginning of Kannapolis’ baseball team. Fans enjoyed local craft beer from Cabarrus Brewing Company, food trucks, activities, and family-friendly entertainment. The love and support was overwhelming throughout the crowd.
Dale Earnhardt was an important influence in the naming of the Intimidators, as he was named the “Intimidator” on the racetrack. Fans were concerned about the loss of Earnhardt in the new beginning and made it clear they wanted to keep him alive through the team.
The Cannon Baller mascot is an All-American playful mustachioed man with a baseball head and racing goggles, including colors red, white, and blue. The mascot seems to resemble Dale Earnhardt, after several complaints of “leaving Earnhardt behind” through the rebranding.
“Listening to the community and instilling history in the name was essential in the process”, said Millward, general manager of Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. “There were almost 1,300 suggestions and the most common names included ‘Cannon’; it was a clear choice”, added Millward.
The Cannon family of Cabarrus County established a historic textile industry, named Cannon Mills.
The mustachioed man has yet to be named and the team is asking for the community’s help by submitting suggestions through social media and the team’s website.
One fan in the crowd shouted “Dale”, while the others seemed to favor as they roared in cheers and exclamation.
In 1995, the team was named the Boll Weevils until 2000 when they were renamed as the Intimidators.
The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers will begin their season in 2020 in the new Kannapolis Sport and Entertainment venue. This new ballpark is being built as a reinvention of downtown Kannapolis.
“Cannon Ballers” is set in red on a white home jersey. The numbers on the back are blue with yellow stars, like the mascot’s helmet. The grey road jerseys read “Kannapolis” on the front, with the blue numbers on the back resembling the home jersey.
The alternate uniform shortens the team name to “Ballers” displayed on the front of a dark blue jersey. The baseball cap paired with this jersey will have abbreviated “CB” on the front standing for “Cannon Ballers” as well as “Cabarrus”.
An alternate uniform showcases a variation to the primary identity, abbreviating the two-word moniker to just one: “Ballers.” A “Baller” refers to someone who started out from the bottom and made it to the top. It can also mean an athlete with great skill or a person who lives large. The accompanying cap for this dark blue jersey top features a “CB,” short for both Cannon Baller and Cabarrus.
Cannon Ballers merchandise is now available online at KCBallers.com. Through Sunday, October 27th, area fans can visit the team’s pop-up retail store next to the Gem Theatre located at 111 West 1st Street in downtown Kannapolis daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Season tickets for the inaugural season at the Kannapolis SEV are on sale now. The Cannon Ballers will take the field in their new stadium, located in Kannapolis, on Thursday, April 16th at 7:00 p.m.
Story and Photos By: Rachel DuQuette