Reading Fightin Phils

R-Phils fans take swing at team's name change; front office not surprised

New name, look to be unveiled at FirstEnergy Stadium on Nov. 17

R-Phils fans take swing at team's name change

READING, Pa. - The longest affiliation in minor league baseball will hang up its jerseys after 46 years.

The Reading Phillies, a staple in Berks County, have decided to change their name, and the decision has set off a fan frenzy on Facebook and other social media sites.

The team has always been based in Reading, and it has always been known as the Reading Phillies, but come Nov. 17, the team's streak will strike out.

"We've always analyzed the name Phillies. Is it the exact right name for us?" said Scott Hunsicker, the team's general manager.

The R-Phils announced Sunday they're changing names. Hunsicker said it's part of their re-branding process. They will change their name, their logo and their jerseys.

"We're giving our fans, our sponsors and the people that care about us since 1967, a chance to take their own flag with their own name on it, stick it in their front yard and be proud of it," said Hunsicker.

The fans have not taken the news lightly. They have created a firestorm and demanded the team maintain its long-standing tradition.

"When you talk about Reading, you think about the Reading Phillies," said Travis Peck, an R-Phils fan.

"Why change? You know the old saying, "If it isn't broke don't fix it," said Michael Ronco, who is a big sports fan.

"I can't say I agree with it, I think they need to remain the Reading Phillies," said Rick Backus, who does not want the name changed.

Fans have taken their frustration online. A petition called, "Reading Phillies: Do NOT change your club name was created on change.org.

Groups have also been created on Facebook. On Monday afternoon, "Save the Reading Phillies" already had nearly 2,000 members.

Frank posted, "Change the name, I change my allegiance." Kristy said, "This can't happen!!!!" Rick wrote, "All about money..."

"I don't think we would have done this if we didn't think on Nov. 17 people aren't going to say, "Ahh, I really like that," said Hunsicker.

Team leaders have been tight-lipped about the new name. They hinted the idea came from someone in the front office.

The name change announcement will be held in VIST Bank Plaza at FirstEnergy Stadium. The event is only open to those who subscribe to the Baseballtown Insider, the team's new newsletter.

What's your take on the R-Phils' name change? If they can't be the Phillies, what do you think they should be called? Leave a message for 69 News at 610-871-0074 or email yourtake@wfmz.com.


More College Sports

  • Sports
    DeMar DeRozan helps Raptors eliminate Bucks
    Dylan Buell/Getty Images

    DeMar DeRozan helps Raptors eliminate Bucks

  • Sports
    Knicks C Noah undergoes rotator cuff surgery
    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    Knicks C Noah undergoes rotator cuff surgery

  • Sports
    Thomas leads Celtics to victory, 3-2 series lead
    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    Thomas leads Celtics to victory, 3-2 series lead

  • Sports
    Wizards pull ahead in series with 103-99 win
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Wizards pull ahead in series with 103-99 win

  • Sports
    First-round prospect Conley denies rape
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    First-round prospect Conley denies rape

  • Sports
    Hayward leads Jazz to 96-92 win
    Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

    Hayward leads Jazz to 96-92 win

  • Sports
    Rockets defeat Thunder to claim series
    J Pat Carter/Getty Images

    Rockets defeat Thunder to claim series

  • Sports
    Leonard and Co. carry Spurs past Grizzlies
    Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

    Leonard and Co. carry Spurs past Grizzlies

  • Season ends for Lehigh men's lacrosse in Patriot League quarterfinals

  • Sports
    Ohio State CB Conley facing sexual assault allegations
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Ohio State CB Conley facing sexual assault allegations

Baseball Scoreboard



Sports Headlines