GRAND CHUTE (WLUK) -- The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had the night off at Fox Cities Stadium Thursday night and the Udder Tuggers stepped up to bat instead.
The new name milked the crowd into a sellout for ‘Salute to Cows’ night
Ticket sales boomed when the one-game name change to the Wisconsin Udder Tuggers was announced on June 3. The team actually had to turn cars away from its packed parking lot before first pitch because so many people wanted to be at the game.
“I think it's a cool way to show support for the area farms and the dairy,” said Seth Muskavitch of Ripon.
“It's different,” said Paul Eckes of Appleton. “We all have to support the dairy industry. We have milk every day.”
The team sold out of its new Udder Tuggers merchandise in just five hours when the name change was announced at the beginning of the month.
“It was just an amazing accomplishment and amazing reaction,” said Chris Mehring, Timber Rattlers media relations director. “We're already on our seventh reorder of merchandise and fans just keep coming in from all 50 states wanting some Udder Tugger merchandise.”
Some fans without the official merchandise came to the game with their own.
“I got this at I think Cheese Fest,” said Scott DeGroot of his cow hat. “I can't remember. It's not something I wear around town all the time, but I figured for an udder night, I'll pull it out of storage.”
Those from the dairy field say a permanent name change could help move the industry to greener pastures.
“The farmers are really struggling right now with the low milk prices so any type of advertising that businesses or ball teams can give to us is only going to help our situation,” said Laurie Baierl of Marike Gouda in Thorpe.
“Cows are inseparable to who we are so it's great to have a team call themselves the Udder Tuggers,” said Avi Stern of Milk Source in Kaukauna.
Some season ticket holders we spoke with say they're happy the name comes with an expiration.
“It's nice for one day,” said Sindy Sitter of Oshkosh. “It's fun, but I like it the Timber Rattlers, they just feel more like a Timber Rattler.”
“As long as they win, you can call them whatever you want,” said DeGroot.
Fans can expect to call the Timber Rattlers the Udder Tuggers at least one more game next year. Mehring says the popularity of the change makes it a safe bet to return.
The Udder Tuggers was actually a suggestion for a full-time name for the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders of the Northwoods League. The Timber Rattlers run that team, but thought the name was just ‘udderly’ ridiculous to have year round.