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Asheville Tourists 85

Notice: All logos on this page are included within the parameters of 17 U.S.C. § 107, which states that the reproduction of a copyrighted work for purposes of criticism and/or comment is not an infringement of copyright. No challenge to the copyrights of these logos is intended by their inclusion here.
Posted 2017 September 3

You might guess that with a baseball team called the Tourists, Asheville is probably some small town which is totally dependent on tourism for its economic revenue and thus named the baseball team after the outsiders who keep the city afloat. No. The city is one of the larger ones in North Carolina, and has plenty of economic activity that has nothing to do with tourism. As for the name, that's one of those century-old, reporter-given nicknames that the early days of baseball saw so much of, and it actually came from the fact that there were no local players on the team at the time (I'm not sure if that was actually all that unusual back then, but since this was before the "farm system" that predominates today, it might have been). The team in Asheville was officially known at that time as the Asheville Mountaineers, and one of the local sportwriters commented that the players weren't actually mountaineers, but rather "just a bunch of tourists". The name stuck. It stuck so hard, in fact, that when that team folded in 1917, the next team to come to town (in 1924) adopted the name for its second season. And when that team folded in 1932, the next team to come to town (in 1934) also adopted that name. And when that team folded...okay, you get the idea. Lots of teams have played in Asheville, and in all that time there's only been five or six seasons where the team in Asheville wasn't called the Tourists.

Mind you, I'm not saying that there isn't a lot of tourism in Asheville. I said it had plenty of economic activity that wasn't based on tourism. But it has a crap-ton of tourism as well. In fact, my wife and I have been there three or four times over the past few years, and are planning to go again. Oh no, I hear you say. Is he going to start talking about stuff from his vacations like he did last week? Don't worry. For one thing, Asheville doesn't have anything nearly as ridiculous as Nashville's Parthenon. And I'm not going to start turning into some kind of travel guide telling you all the things you can/should/must do in Asheville. In fact, I'm going to do you a favor and tell you what not to bother with in Asheville. That would be the Biltmore House. The Biltmore House was built for George Washington Vanderbilt, and it was the largest private residence in the world at one time. It may still be, actually — there's plenty of material that makes that claim in the present tense, but I couldn't find any evidence that anyone actually still lives there. And when you've got tourists coming in seven days a week to gawk, can it really still be said to be a private residence? Anyway, it's not worth it. Don't get me wrong: it's interesting, and if the cost to visit it was reasonable I'd tell you to check it out. But the cost to visit isn't reasonable. A one-day ticket costs $65, and at peak times of the year goes up to $75. All this for a house whose history basically boils down to "This guy made a shit-ton of money and one of his sons took a bunch of that money and built a big-ass house." By comparison, you can go up to Charlottesville, Virginia and visit Monticello (Thomas Jefferon's home), Montpelier (James Madison's home), and Ash Lawn (James Monroe's home), and all three combined cost $64. Each one of those houses has more history going on than Biltmore, so when you combine all three it's a bit of a no-brainer if you ask me. Also, none of the three look as gaudy as Biltmore does.

But enough of that. Let's get back to the name and logo. You may be wondering why the main feature of the logo is a moon. More generally, you may wonder why the main feature of the logo isn't a tourist. That part's obvious if you ask me. Picture a tourist, and ask yourself if you want to see that in a logo. Okay, so now you understand where there's no tourist in the logo. But still, why a moon? Well, that actually goes back to one of the teams in Asheville before the Tourists. The very first team in town was called the Asheville Moonshiners. And the team decided to pay homage to that first team by putting the moon in the logo. (Why the moon and not a moonshiner? See my explanation for why it's not a tourist.)

So we've got a team name that makes reference to most of the previous teams in town, and a logo that makes reference to one of the few previous teams that the name doesn't make reference to. Not the most forward-looking approach, you might say. I'm fine with that. If it's forward-looking you want, baseball probably isn't the best place to be looking in the first place. Instead you should go downtown and see—

Oh, wait. I said I wasn't going to do that. So I'll just say if you're ever in Asheville you check out downtown. It's a good place to be an Asheville tourist.

Final Score: 85 points.
Penalties: Script, 7 pts; Scenery, 11 pts; Equipment, 13 pts; Diamond, 16 points; Irrelevance, 39 pts.
Bonuses: None.


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