The treasures buried throughout Greenville, North Carolina, will be a lot safer with the addition of the Coastal Plain League’s newest team, the collegiate wood bat Greenville Yard Gnomes, whose identity is tied to the city’s past and present. The nickname beat out four other finalists in a name-the-team contest: Ballhogs, Booty, Scallywags, and Peglegs.
The team teased the unveiling with a video that started with the legend, “In the land of Pirates… the treasure must be protected.” Per the team’s explanation, gnomes are known for guarding treasure, which there’s a lot of in Greenville because the city is home to the Eastern Carolina University Pirates, who of course are well know for their buried treasure.
Technically, the nickname Yard Gnomes was not one of the finalists in the name-the-team contest—it was actually Garden Gnomes. But when it was all said and done, the team went with the nickname Yard Gnomes rather than the garden variety of the tiny magical humanoids because baseball is played in a yard, not a garden.
The Yard Gnomes will wear green jerseys, a wink and a nod to a Greenville team that played in a previous iteration of the Coastal Plain League, the Class D Greenville Greenies, circa 1937–1941.
The 18-team Coastal Plain League will begin play May 23, when the Yard Gnomes take on the Tri-City Chili Peppers.