Grand Junction Rockies rebrand as the Grand Junction Jackalopes

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 10:55 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Grand Junction Rockies are no more, say “hello” to the Grand Junction Jackalopes.

The team announced the identity change this morning.

“We had over 1,000 great submissions from the community.” Jackalopes President Mick Ritter said. “Jackalopes stood out as an amusing and unique name in professional baseball. I think we can have a lot of fun with it.”

According to the team, Grand Junction Resident Jennifer Schmalz submitted the idea of Jackalopes. The ballclub said Schmalz was chosen as the winner of the name submission contest by a random number generator, but she was also the first person to submit the name.

“I believe the name Jackalopes is creative, funny, and represents Grand Junction well,” Schmalz said. “As a Colorado native, you always hear about the elusive Jackalope and people joking about hunting them, so I thought what a great name that would be for a baseball team.”

The team will be keeping the purple color it used as the Rockies but are adding more to the mix. On top of the shade of purple the club calls “purple majesty” they are also employing a shade of blue called “sky blue” and an orange-yellowish color called “desert sunset”.

The decision to rebrand comes after the team was purchased by Future Legends Complex LLC, the same owners of the Northern Colorado Owlz. The Owlz were previously the Orem Owlz but moved to Windsor, CO, and rebranded after Future Legends took over.

Another factor in the rebrand is that the team is no longer directly affiliated with the Colorado Rockies Organization. In 2021, Minor League Baseball converted the Pioneer League from an MLB-affiliated Rookie Advanced League to an independent league that was granted the status of an MLB partner League.

The team formerly known as the Grand Junction Rockies has rebranded before. The ball club started as the Butte Copper Kings in 1978 where the team stayed until 2000, when they relocated to Casper, Wy. There, the team first donned the Rockies name until 2008. From 2008-2011 the team was known as the Casper Ghosts before moving to Grand Junction and playing as the Rockies for a decade, from 2012 until this past season.

The team won its first Pioneer league title, and its first title in Grand Junction this past season. The Jackalopes will debut on May 23, 2023, on the road against the Ogden Raptors, and will make their Suplizio Field Debut on June 6, 2023.