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Spartanburg's new baseball team officially has a name

Hub City Spartanburgers

Spartanburg’s Minor League baseball team officially has a name: the Hub City Spartanburgers.

The name reflects three key aspects of the city. Hub City is Spartanburg’s most famous nickname, and it refers to the city’s past as a vital railroad hub.

"Spartanburg was a very big textile and grain mill town," said team general manager Tyson Jeffers during the unveiling ceremony for the name Saturday. "It was a hub for the rail lines [and] a mecca of commerce in its early days.”

Spartanburgers are residents of Spartanburg, of course, but the “burger” part is also a reference to the city’s fast food and restaurant history. That includes a nod to the Denny’s restaurant chain, which has its corporate headquarters in Spartanburg.

The team’s logo is a hamburger, togged out with a rail engineer’s cap, running with a baseball bat. Jeffers said Saturday that the burger will also have some friends – Flip, a spatula, and Chip, a pickle chip.

The Spartanburgers was the name of a Coastal Plains League team that only played one season, in 2021, but ran into financial trouble. That team was not connected to Major League Baseball, and played on a ballfield at Duncan Park.

The new Spartanburgers will be the Single-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. They’re set to take the field at Fifth Third Park (currently under construction in downtown Spartanburg) in 2025.

Opening day will be the first time since 1995 that Spartanburg will host a MLB-affiliated Minor League team since the Spartanburg Phillies left in 1995.

Scott Morgan is the Upstate multimedia reporter for South Carolina Public Radio, based in Rock Hill. He cut his teeth as a newspaper reporter and editor in New Jersey before finding a home in public radio in Texas. Scott joined South Carolina Public Radio in March of 2019. His work has appeared in numerous national and regional publications as well as on NPR and MSNBC. He's won numerous state, regional, and national awards for his work including a national Edward R. Murrow.