News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Akron General

Don Drumm Studios

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us

Akron Aeros become the Rubber Ducks
A nod to the city's history and an aquatic fit with Canal Park stadium.

Mark Urycki
(L to R) Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, team owner Ken Babby, team GM Jim Pfander.
Courtesy of MARK URYCKI
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Akron’s Minor League baseball team is changing its name – again. New owner Ken Babby took over the double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians one year ago today. The new name is tied to Akron’s history with rubber and toys.

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:11)

The Minor League franchise suffered some embarrassment when it moved from Canton to downtown Akron in 1997 and then-owner Mike Agganis announced he would call the team the Blast, with a mascot named Kaboom.

It might have flown had he not talked about opening a small museum in the stadium dedicated to Akron astronaut Judy Resnik. She died in the explosion of the space Shuttle Challenger in 1986.

After reporters pointed that out, the team quickly renamed the team the Aeros.  

Canal rats, rubber ducks and cats
Now a new owner, Ken Babby, has come in, making new investments in Canal Park and he’s renaming the team the Akron Rubber Ducks. The team’s red cat mascot Orbit, will remain.

"We are not turning our backs on the Aeros brand. We love the great history of that brand over the last 17 years. You'll still see Orbit at games. That's a really important part of it. This is an evolution for our franchise.”   

The new name harkens back not only to the city’s tire industry but its toy history. The world’s first rubber ducks were made in Akron.  The name was actually suggested a few years ago by fans. 

“Some of the names we were looking at were Tire Jacks," says team General Manager Jim Pfander. "And we were looking at a rabbit mascot. Canal Rats was another name that had been thrown out there before in some previous contests.  We also looked at Vulcans.” 

The team logo includes tire treads and an angry rubber duck. The new team colors are (tire) black and yellow and blue and orange. New uniforms will be unveiled next month. 

Listener Comments:

I heard your broadcast of this story on my way to work. When I discussed it with my co-workers later, they were quite fascinated with the history of the previous names and the origin of the new one. I found it even more fascinating that when I went online to verify the report, your station was the only one that had done the research to make this story interesting. The other reports from CBS, Cleveland Online and FOX8 simply emphasized the dislike of the name by Akron residents and couldn't even verify when or how they came up with the name. Thank you NPR and WKSU for a thorough and informative report… as pleasantly expected.

Posted by: Justin Foster (Diamond) on October 30, 2013 3:10AM
the name just sucks

Posted by: Anonymous on October 29, 2013 11:10AM
Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

New options in Ohio for secular wedding ceremonies
Hello Mike, I support this action. I was not previously aware of the difficulty couples may encounter in locating officials to serve in their non-religious mar...

Northeast Ohio prepares for the next refugees -- whoever they may be
What a better place to place refugees than in the Midwest cities that have a steady population decline. These refugees will bring much to the culture and the ec...

Charter reform bill includes controversial change for some teachers
I work for a former White Hat charter school; it was sold to another (for-profit) company this past summer and we were told that they would not pay into STRS/PE...

Bhutanese resettlement has had a big economic impact
Informative especially for nonmembers of North Hill. I appreciate the fact that you mention that the younger generation has an easier time than the elders but t...

Ottawa County Commissioner sworn in as new house member
Congratulations on your new appointment to the Ohio House. I'm certain you will do an outstanding job in your new role representing our district. When you have...

Holden Arboretum opens a new canopy walk and emergent tower
Visited the Holden Arboretum today to witness the incredible work you did constructing the tower and bridges.WOW! Very impressed. Knew the build had to be great...

Local club works to bring back the once-prevalent American elm
I would love to help! Where would I get some of the new Strain so I could plant them?

Four Geauga school districts consider consolidating on the Kent State campus
Berkshire was smart to merge with Ledgemont because it had shrinking enrollment and excess capacity at its high school. Now that Cardinal is dragging its feet ...

Ohio Rep. John Boccieri sworn into office and hopes to look for 'middle ground' with colleagues
Welcome back to the Statehouse, John. You are a terrific representative in the truest sense always representing the people's voice in teh district you serve. ...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University