Local IBL Team Rebranded As The Chatham-Kent Barnstormers

Following a rocky start, the municipality’s new Intercounty Baseball League team has now been dubbed the Chatham-Kent Barnstormers.

The name of the team and the team logo were unveiled during a ceremony at Fergie Jenkins Field in Chatham on Thursday.

Team President Dom Dinelle said the Barnstormers is a unique name that not many baseball teams have, but one that celebrates Chatham-Kent’s history as a baseball community.

“It’s a baseball place and by having this name that reminds us of the legacy, it’s great,” he said.

Barnstorming is a baseball term referring to the practice of teams travelling from town to town to play games and stage exhibition matches.

This marks the second attempt to name the expansion team after first announcing it would be called the CK Blackbirds back in January. However, the name was dropped days later after it was determined to be racially insensitive. Marketing firm The Hive stepped in a few months after to help with rebranding.

Dinelle said consultations were also conducted with several community groups, including the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society.

“When we had to do the change, there was again a long process because lots of research had to be done,” said Dinelle. “We want everyone to be involved. Everyone in the community, black or white, French or English, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. It’s baseball, it’s for everybody.”

Dinelle said the team plans to unveil the team uniform and announce the newly hired team manager in the coming weeks.

The team is expected to hit the field for the first time in May 2024.

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