About five months from now, the IronBirds will briefly cease to exist. Taking their place are cooked crustaceans.
Before you wonder just what the heck is going on in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, know that this is baseball news. Minor league baseball, to be specific.
On Aug. 11, short-season Single-A Aberdeen will ditch its Cal Ripken Jr.-inspired nickname to become the Steamed Crabs for one game, an homage to Maryland's state crustacean. (Today is National Crab Meat Day, after all.)
Aberdeen will debut special Steamed Crabs uniforms against the West Virginia Black Bears: on the front, mascot Kalvin the Krab wielding a mallet; on the right sleeve, a Maryland state flag patch; and vertical pinstripes, "to acknowledge the long and arduous process Maryland crabbers experience every day to deliver the world’s best blue crabs," the team said in a news release.
"Our organization is all about affordable, family fun and we could not be more excited to transform 'Birdland' into 'Crabland' for one special night this summer," IronBirds general manager Matt Slatus said in a release. "Our goal was to give fans a concept they could relate to and rally behind. Maryland is full of traditions, but none have become more synonymous with our great state than steamed crabs."
Food vendors at the stadium also will offer crab-themed menu options Aug. 11, including steamed crabs, crab cakes, crab macaroni and cheese, and soft-shell crab sandwiches.
Though the team will return to its IronBirds origins Aug. 12, the Steamed Crabs will join a distinguished line of food-based team names, if only for one night. In the minor leagues alone, you have the Modesto Nuts and Montgomery Biscuits. Elsewhere, there are the North Carolina School of the Arts Fighting Pickles and the Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes.
None offer the headline possibilities of Aberdeen's new name, however. Just imagine: "Steamed Crabs picked apart." Yummm, baseball.