There are 50 days left before this year's Opening Day Tournament. So, I'm introducing a new pre-ODT feature: every 10 days in the leadup to the tournament, I'll released my definitive list of whatever I feel like talking about today. In our first segment, we'll dive into the best team names in OCWA history. Buckle up.
10.) Ponyboy's Heart of Gold, 2011
PHOG leads off this list for good reason: they had everything. This was Chris Sacheli's first foray into the world of managing and he didn't diasspoint. Their jerseys just had the initials but they really put the heart in PHOG. They also had they characters, with Dave Erb, Sach, and the immortal Krabbs, but not the one named "Ponyboy", Adam Kloos.
9.) Coexist, 2009-2010
Jon Suhre's squad was a eclectic crew that lead to this name. Between him, Ray Ali, Julianne Patterson, and Darin Carter, this team broke all sorts of barriers within the league. The problem was that Julianne was Jon's best semi-regular player, until the 2010 playoffs with the Joe Simmons debacle. These were some of the worst teams in OCWA history, but also some of my favorites.
8.) The Plainguys, 2012
Going from Coexist to Plainguys might seem like a weird move, but bear with me. The Plainguys joke runs deep within the veins of this teams managers, Alex "Bacon" Barber. He also signed up the Roeder brothers, which made this team the exact opposite of "plain". That in and of itself is what made this such a great name.
7.) Big Bob's Beepers, 2010
This list is now getting Bacon heavy but that's fine. This team really had it all. The custom artwork logo was fantastic, they came with t-shirt jerseys, but the best thing was the hat. Everybody knows the Chris Sacheli hat. This thing has survived since that season and has a complete history of every Sacheli team in that time. This was the first logo to be drawn on the hat, and still looks great to this day.
6.) The Water's Warm, 2009
Three straight Bacon names are fine by me. This one outdoes the rest because you couldn't shorten it. The was no abbreviation that would capture the entire essence of such a name. This name is less of a team name than a team phrase, and their patented "Walking on Water" method helped them succeed in the early years of OCWA.
5.) Schweaty Sachs, 2013
We are now entering into the elite team names in our history. This one wasn't even created by Chris Sacheli, team manager. This was created by Bacon after Sach missed the deadline. MOAR BACON. Anyway, it's a wonderful play on his name as well as one of my favorite SNL skits ever, Schweddy Balls. A masterpiece.
4.) Freaky Franchise, 2011-present
This team name endures for a lot of reasons. First, it is one of the most successful wiffle franchises ever because it's also the OCWA's travelling team name. As far as OCWA league names go, it's up there, but not quite at the top. It's a great name for a team who idolizes Tim Lincecum, and the logos and jerseys have put this team into rare air.
3.) Notorious Dr. Lipschitz, 2010
NDL was run by our good friend Colby "Krabbs" Delaney. This one came out of thin air and is absolute magic, making a classic cartoon into an absolute thug. Seriously, taking the child psychologist from Rugrats and mashing him up with the greatest rapper of all time is the move of an evil genius. Pure poetry.
2.) Heat Throwin' Mother Lovers, 2014
This is the second of Roeder's abbreviated team names. HTML was scary good because their team matched their playing style: they threw gas, they hit bombs, and they loved moms. I forget the name of the woman drawn on their bat but she looked like she would throw a mean riser.
1.) Strong Tough Dudes, 2013
This is far and away the winner in this category. Let's run through it: the initials are STD, which means their jerseys just said "STD" on them. The incorporation of a syringe into the logo as the T was a solid get. This was the original name-from-abbreviation from Roeder and it is an all time classic.