READING, Pa. - Love it or hate it, Baseballtown is now home to the "Fightin Phils."
Some diehard fans have expressed outrage over the new name, but according to management, it's selling well with fans.
From the second the banner dropped Saturday, the Reading baseball franchise experienced its largest merchandise sales day in history on a non-game day, said team management.
"It's not unexpected. That's what we thought was going to happen because the reality is we finally have a good logo," said Scott Hunsicker, the Fightin Phils general manager.
The team believes the logo is indigenous to Reading because of the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor, but the feisty ostrich is what some fans are complaining about.
"I think the name is fine, but the logo is quite stupid," said Robert Hinson, who roots for the team.
"I'm not against the Fightin Phils, but those new hats and shirts and stuff and the ostrich forget it," said Harold Drexel, who does not like the new logo.
The ostrich marks the first time in franchise history the team has an identifiable mascot. On top of that, the team has rolled out a new logo and new jerseys, but fans said it's all going to take some getting used to.
"I like the Reading Phillies. I'm so used to it. Just sounds weird to have it changed after all these years," said Patrice Mogel.
69 News' Facebook fans blasted the new name online.
Bob posted, "I have no problem with change that is improvement. This particular change is deterioration."
Karen wrote, "Call it a 'December Fool's' day joke and put it back. Then fire the guy who decided this was a good idea."
"We still have to support the team regardless, and we're proud that it's here in Reading," said Greta Weist, who said the new name has grown on her.
The Fightin Phils received 47 online orders when they walked in the door Monday morning. According to management, 44 of them were for the new merchandise.
Despite the criticism, the team believes people are not buying stuff they don't like.
Allentown, PA 18102
- Lehigh Valley 69 News