Where Did Waco’s New Professional Baseball Team Name Come From?

Announcing the Waco BlueCats.

By Michael MarksDecember 2, 2016 1:31 pm,

We’ve all heard of sports family dynasties: Manning in football, Williams in tennis, Alomar in baseball. Then there’s Fischer and Neder. Steve Fischer and his grandfather Bill Neder are a sports dynasty of a different kind.

Back in the early 1960s, Neder won a contest to name the major league baseball expansion team in Houston and now his grandson has come up with the name for Waco’s new minor league pro baseball team: the Waco BlueCats.

The Southwest League of Professional Baseball got more than 700 different team name submissions from more than 1,800 people. They narrowed it down to five finalists: the Woolies, Mammoths, Peppers, Grackles and the BlueCats.

Fischer says he learned about the contest at work from a colleague. Two minutes later, Fischer had submitted a name: the Waco Brazos Blue Cats.

Although the pro league removed the “Brazos,” Fischer says he’s proud just the same.

Fischer says he didn’t actually know what a Blue Cat was until recently.

“Another work colleague of mine had told me that he was goin’ fishin’ and he was fishin’ for Blue Cats,” he says. “I dumbfoundedly asked him ‘What’s a Blue Cat?’ And he said ‘Oh, It’s a cat fish.’”

Fischer says the name stuck with him until he submitted the name to the contest. He says he was surprised to hear his submission was in the list of finalists, especially because he had to do some extra research on Blue Cats.

“I knew it was a decent name, just because it kinda had that minor league originality to it,” he says. “I’d actually got an inquiry from somebody within the league just wanting some more details about the name and kind of where [I] was going with it.”

Fischer’s grandfather, Bill Neder is responsible for naming the Houston Colt .45’s – now known as the Houston Astros. Fischer says Neder won the contest all due to the comment he left with the name: “The Colt .45 won the west, and it will now help Houston win the national league.”

Fischer’s been awarded lifetime season tickets for his contribution.

Post by Beth Cortez-Neavel.