For more on the Kokomo Jackrabbits, see Dean Hockney’s story and editorial in the Oct. 21 edition of the Sports Journal of Central Indiana.
Kokomo is no longer the team-to-be-named-later. On Monday afternoon, MKE Sports & Entertainment revealed the much anticipated name and logo of the new Prospect League baseball team playing at Kokomo Municipal Stadium: the Kokomo Jackrabbits. Just under 1,000 entries were submitted for the Name the Team contest at KokomoBaseball.com. Of those entries, 15 people chose the Jackrabbits name and one winner was randomly drawn for the $2,500 grand prize.
“The Kokomo Jackrabbits playing Prospect League baseball enhances Kokomo’s identity throughout the state and Midwest,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “The name Jackrabbits is a tribute to our automotive heritage, and the team and stadium are part of Kokomo’s aim to attract people to fuel the future of our city.”
Other fans who submitted the winning entry at KokomoBaseball.com will receive a Kokomo Jackrabbits prize package, which includes tickets to the home opener and closer at Kokomo Municipal Stadium, an exclusive stadium tour, merchandise and more.
Judges chose the Jackrabbits name because of its historical importance to the city. The Apperson was a brand of automobile manufactured from 1901 to 1926 in Kokomo, Indiana. The Apperson Jack Rabbit was introduced in 1907. It was a 2-passenger roadster, equipped with a four cylinder 60 or 96 horsepower engine. Features included a four-speed transmission, 34-inch wheels and tires, Hess-Bright ignition systems and a 20-gallon round gas tank. It had a guaranteed top speed of 75 miles per hour.
MKE Owner Mike Zimmerman also introduced Greg Van Horn as field manager of the Kokomo Jackrabbits. Van Horn is currently assistant baseball coach at Princeton University. Last summer, he served as assistant coach of the Prospect League’s Chillicothe Paints and was the shortstop on the Paints 2010 squad that won the Prospect League championship for the first time and was ranked second in the nation among college summer league teams.
“I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and am excited to be a part of bringing high level baseball back to the Kokomo community,” said Van Horn. “We are committed to putting the best possible product on the field so that our fans can enjoy a winning experience from the very beginning. I can’t wait to get going.”
Zimmerman said he is excited about bringing a summer baseball team to the City of Firsts.
“This is another big day for the city of Kokomo and its new baseball club – the Kokomo Jackrabbits,” said Zimmerman. “The new brand is strong and will certainly be a big success for merchandise sales. Our new field manager, Greg Van Horn is an up and comer and we are excited to have him lead our team”.
Ticket information and updates for the inaugural Kokomo Jackrabbits season can be found on the team’s website at KokomoJackrabbits.com, along with a Kokomo Municipal Stadium Seating Chart. Follow and friend us socially on Facebook and Twitter for further developments.
Courtesy of the Kokomo Jackrabbits and City of Kokomo